It’s feeding time at Greece’s solely zoo and a capuchin monkey grabs as many mandarins as it may possibly – even tucking one into his lengthy, supple tail. It could be clever to fill up.
After being closed for nearly three months due to COVID-19, the zoo on the fringes of Athens might be on the highway to extinction: With no paying guests or – in contrast to different European zoos – sufficient authorities assist to cowl its very specific wants, the Attica Zoological Park faces big payments to maintain 2,000 animals well-fed and wholesome.
“As issues are … we nonetheless can go on for a minimum of one month,” zoo founder and CEO Jean Jacques Lesueur mentioned. “After that, we don’t know.”
Not like some companies compelled to quickly shut amid virus-control restrictions, the zoo continues to have sizeable working bills. Between meals, salaries, utilities, medical care and different bills, the price of caring for the animals at present exceeds 200,000 euros ($243,000) per 30 days.
“That’s the distinction between us and different firms: Once they shut they shut. We shut, however we don’t shut,” Lesueur instructed The Related Press.
Based in 2000 and situated within the city of Spata, the zoo occupies 20 hectares (50 acres) and is house to 290 species, from elephants to prairie canines. It’s concerned in schooling, conservation and breeding, and belongs to the European Affiliation of Zoos and Aquaria, which has about 400 members.
Guests account for greater than 99 % of its income, which contains ticket, meals and beverage, and reward store gross sales. So each month’s income counts, and the lack of December, normally busy due to the Christmas holidays, was notably heavy.
Thus far, suppliers have proven understanding and are accepting credit score. Two-thirds of the zoo’s employees is on state-supported furlough, and an anticipated instalment of state assist will deal with this month’s pay for the remainder, mentioned Lesueur.
The zoo additionally has bought 5,000 advance tickets at diminished costs for when the lockdown ends, and Lesueur mentioned that helped pay December’s salaries.