A french zoo manager has clarified the situation confronting the fascination since”a real nightmare”.
Zoos, like most companies, are suffering substantial losses with the abrupt closure caused by this COVID-19 lockdown.
Countless animals still have to be fed and cared for daily, regardless of the entire reduction of visitors and the earnings that they generate. Many zoos have adjusted the prices of tens of thousands of Euros per month.
Eric Bairrão Ruivo, conservation manager at Beauval Zoo at Saint Aignan — 190km south-west of Paris — stated the present situation can’t last for more.
“We’ve got a zoo of 45 hectares, together with 35,000 creatures,” he explained. “Considering that the lockdown, we’ve set nearly all our employees on furlough or operating in the house. But we have 200 people in the zoo taking good care of their animals daily.
“it is a real nightmare; we have dropped $15 million per month and almost $50 million in earnings (because the pandemic started ).
“Luckily, the French government has set in place some steps which may help us, like the furlough, but this situation can’t continue much longer since we won’t have the ability to handle it. It impacts all our operations – like the conservation of animals in the area.
“We hope that zoos will start in France at the start of June – and now we’ve managed via the bank loans that we’ve accepted.
“But we won’t have the ability to make investments in another a few years since it is going to have a very long time to recuperate from such losses.”
Bairrão Ruivo stated the zoo community could work hard to protect the creatures:
“We operate in co-operation together with all the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria that are considering this and attempting to find alternatives for zoos which can’t look after their animals,” he added. “So we’ll have steps put in place together with others in the zoo community”