One zoo in Germany is having a difficult time dealing with the current coronavirus crisis and may have to resort to drastic measures to ensure that some of their animals with larger appetites remain fed during a period where budgets have never been tighter.
Like many businesses that rely on tourism and ticket sales, zoos have taken quite a hit due to the lockdown amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Neumünster Zoo in Germany is no exception and has actually suffered an even bigger blow due to the ownership of the zoo. Small businesses can benefit from economic aid thanks to the state's emergency fund. However, due to the fact that Neumünster Zoo is owned by an association, it isn't eligible to receive any money.
Considering that the cost to feed an animal varies from £5-20 a day and that Neumünster Zoo provides a home to over 130 different species, that bill accumulates at a staggering pace over the course of a month. With no foot traffic due to ticket sales, the zoo doesn't have the means to continue providing food for the hungry mouths of all the animals.
According to Verena Kaspari from Neumünster Zoo, this is by no means an ideal solution, nor a sustainable one:
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.
The decision will certainly be a tough one to make on behalf of the zookeepers. According to Kaspari, the choice of which animals will be the first ones to be fed has already been determined. One must imagine that the choice may take into consideration the crowd each individual species brings in and their impact on ticket sales, as well as the amount of food needed to sustain the given animal.