German zoo may have to feed animals to each other due to coronavirus lockdown

We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first, says zoo director


Social Desk April 15, 2020
A picture taken on January 29, 2020 shows one of the two giant panda cubs with his mother Meng Meng at their enclosure during the first presentation of Berlin-born Chinese panda cubs to the public at the Zoologischer Garten zoo in Berlin. (Photo: AFP)

A zoo in Germany has created a list of animals it may have to slaughter and feed to others, as it struggles for funds because of the novel coronavirus crisis.

According to British publication BBC, Neumünster Zoo, which is located north of Hamburg, has warned that it could be forced to implement the measure to prevent animals from starving.

Verena Kaspari, the zoo’s director, told Die Welt: “We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first,” she said, pointing out that seals and penguins needed big quantities of fresh fish daily.

The director added that this “unpleasant” decision would only be taken as a final resort, saying she would “euthanise” animals rather than see them starve.

Ms Kaspari estimated that her zoo is projected to lose more than £150,000 (PKR 25 million) in income this spring.

The zoo belongs to an association that is not entitled to a state emergency fund for small businesses.

As well as asking for public donations, Germany’s zoos are seeking €100m (Rs18 billion approximately) in aid from the German government, according to the DPA news agency.

Jörg Junhold, the head of Germany’s national zoo association (VdZ), said an average German zoo was typically losing €500,000 (PKR 90 million) each week.

The VdZ says zoos cannot cut down on running costs, as they have to continue feeding their animals.

Some zoos are allowing the public to watch their animals online. This is the case with two infant panda twins at Berlin Zoo.

Philine Hachmeister, a spokesperson for Berlin Zoo, told DPA news agency: “Constantly we’re thinking ‘the visitors should be watching them live’. We don’t want the little pandas to be grown up by the time we finally reopen.”

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