Covid-19: German Zoo May Feed Animals to Each Other to Survive

Vitus the polar bear. source: The New York Times

In an attempt to survive during this pandemic, one zoo might have to take a drastic last measure; feeding animals to each other as its funds drop due to Covid-19.

The lockdown has disrupted supply chains and revenue for the Neumünster Zoo in Germany. If this continues, the zoo has no choice but to consider slaughtering and feeding animals to each other, but even that wouldn’t solve the crisis.

“We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first,” zoo director Verena Kaspari told Die Welt. Though it’s unclear which animals would be slaughtered, a polar bear named Vitus would be the last to go.

It’s a clear sign that it’s a call for attention by announcing the drastic measure. The Neumünster zoo now runs solely on donation and since it belongs to an association, the zoo is not covered by the state emergency fund for small business. Ms Kaspari estimates the zoo’s loss of income this Spring will be about 175,000 Euro (RM828,049).

Panda twins at Berlin Zoo. source: BBC

According to CNN, the Association of Zoological Gardens (VdZ), a Berlin-based zoo association with members in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Spain has asked Chancellor Angela Merkel for 100 million Euro in emergency aid. VdZ represents 56 zoos in Germany, including Neumünster Zoo.

“A possible loss of this valuable animal population would be a bitter setback for our struggle to converse biodiversity and would therefore amount to catastrophe,” VdZ President Jörg Junhold said in a statement.

The association said that unlike other facilities, zoos can’t just shut down or limit operations to cut down costs. Animals still need to be fed and cared for.

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