A Welsh zoo has said it may be forced to kill hundreds of animals it says are at risk of starvation due to a lack of funds.
The owners of Borth Wild Animal Kingdom, Tracy and Dean Tweedy, fear they only have enough money for one week amid the coronavirus lockdown.
“I’m sorry to say that financially things are looking bleak here at Borth Wild Animal Kingdom,” captions in a video released by the zoo reads.
“We have maybe a week’s money left and then we will have to start looking at re-homing some of our animals, or as a last resort euthanizing the ones we can’t find homes for.”
The zoo, already struggling after a “long, quiet winter season”, said the issue was compounded when it emerged a special government zoo fund only applies to businesses in England.
“We need help now more than ever. Despite everything, we are as determined as ever to not give up,” the couple say.
The zoo, in Ceredigion, was ordered to close in January due to a lack of trained marksmen in case of an animal escape. It was allowed to open again in February.
The zoo, which houses more than 300 animals, has previously faced calls to close after it emerged a lynx was accidentally strangled in “a terrible handling error” just days before a second lynx was shot and killed following an escape.
Critics branded the business a “hobby zoo”, throwing a spotlight on fears that at some UK animal attractions well-meaning but under-qualified owners are failing to look after creatures properly.
Mr and Ms Tweedy have previously denied the zoo is a hobby, insisting that it was in “a terrible state” when they took it over in 2016 and that they have made improvements.
“We bought this place not to make money, but because we are animal lovers and could see that this place in this beautiful location needed some serious love and attention," they said.
“Many of the animals are rescued from the animal trade or are exotic pets that the owner cannot look after any more."
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