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German zoo may have to feed animals to each other due to coronavirus lockdown

‘We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first’

Rory Sullivan
Wednesday 15 April 2020 15:10 BST
German zoo may have to feed animals to each other due to coronavirus lockdown

A German zoo has created a list of animals it may have to slaughter and feed to others, as it struggles for funds because of the coronavirus crisis.

Neumünster Zoo, which is located north of Hamburg, has warned it could be forced to implement the measure to prevent animals from starving.

Verena Kaspari, the zoo’s director, told the Die Welt newspaper: “We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first.”

The director added this “unpleasant” decision would only be taken as a final resort, saying she would “euthanise” animals rather than see them starve.

Ms Kaspari estimated that her zoo is projected to lose more than £150,000 in income this spring.

The zoo belongs to an association that is not entitled to a state emergency fund for small businesses.

As well as asking for public donations, Germany’s zoos are seeking €100m (£87.3m) in aid from the German government, according to the DPA news agency.

Jörg Junhold, the head of Germany’s national zoo association (VdZ), said an average German zoo was typically losing €500,000 each week.

The VdZ says zoos cannot cut down on running costs, as they have to continue feeding their animals.

Some zoos are allowing the public to watch their animals online. This is the case with two infant panda twins at Berlin Zoo.

Philine Hachmeister, a spokesperson for Berlin Zoo, told DPA: “Constantly we’re thinking ‘the visitors should be watching them live’. We don’t want the little pandas to be grown up by the time we finally reopen.”

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