German zoo ‘may have to feed animals to each other to survive coronavirus crisis'

·3-min read
Tim the emperor tamarin sits in his enclosure at the zoo in Neumuenster, Germany, 04 March 2016. Photo: Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa | usage worldwide   (Photo by Daniel Bockwoldt/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Tim the emperor tamarin sits in his enclosure at the zoo in Neumuenster, Germany (Picture: Getty)

A German zoo has revealed it may be forced to feed animals to each other in order to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Neumunster Zoo director Verena Kaspari has made a desperate plea for donations to help the institution buy food for animals so they do not have to euthanise some of them.

Money has dried up since it was forced to close when the country went into lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Kaspari told German newspaper Die Welt: ‘We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first.’

She added being closed during the busy Easter period had a huge impact on funds.

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14 April 2020, Schleswig-Holstein, Neumünster: Verena Caspari, director of the animal park. Since the closure of the zoos in mid-March due to corona, the Neumünster Zoo has been dependent on donations to survive due to a lack of visitors. Photo: Carsten Rehder/dpa (Photo by Carsten Rehder/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Verena Kaspari, director of Neumünster Zoo (Picture: Getty)

Kaspari said if things got worst they may be forced to kill some of the animals as a last resort.

She added: “If it comes to it, I’ll have to euthanise animals rather than let them starve.

“At the worst, we would have to feed some of the animals to others.”

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Kaspari said the zoo could lose as much as €175,000 over the spring period if it remained closed.

Neumünster Zoo is asking for animal sponsorship, donations and for supporters to buy annual passes in order to keep it open.

German zoos have also asked the government for €100 million (£87 million) to keep them going and many have taken up the furlough scheme for their staff.

Polar bear Kap plays with a set of toys in his enclosure at the zoo in Neumuenster, Germany, 12 April 2016. Photo: Carsten Rehder/dpa | usage worldwide   (Photo by Carsten Rehder/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Polar bear Kap plays with a set of toys in his enclosure at the zoo in Neumuenster, Germany (Picture: Getty)

In the UK, Colchester Zoo has said its ‘future is very bleak’ if it remains closed over the summer because it cannot sustain its £25,000 daily food bill.

The zoo said in a statement on its website: “We are in the unknown, we don’t know what the future for the zoo will be. Will we survive? When will we re-open?”

It has set up a funding page that can be accessed here.

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Germany will consider easing restrictions on shops introduced last month to slow the spread of the coronavirus from April 20 but extend limits on movement until 3 May, several participants in talks between regional and central government said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is to hold talks with state premiers of Germany’s 16 states on Wednesday to try to agree on whether and how to loosen some of the restrictions.

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