Many zoos across the UK (as well as safari parks across the world) have been desperately worried about the impact lockdown and closing for a long period of time will have on their long-term ability to provide care for their animals and eventually reopen. Many facilities rely on ticket sales, tourism and travel in order to fund their premises, feed their animals and support important conservation projects for endangered species. Lockdown, whilst essential for controlling the pandemic, has sadly had a devastating impact on the amount of money flowing into animal organisations, which could threaten conservation efforts and animal welfare globally as a result.
However, an appeal by Chester Zoo in the UK provoked a wave of public support after they announced they would need to close their doors permanently if they could not reopen imminently – 97% of their funds come from ticket sales. The public responded by raising £3million for the zoo in less than a week, and the response ultimately resulted in a change of heart by the Government, who announced the reopening of outdoor attractions as long as social distancing measures are in place.
Whilst this is a step in the right direction for the UK, the tourism industry continues to suffer with a devastating knock-on effect on protected national conservation parks abroad who rely heavily on visitors paying for safaris, as well as rescue sanctuaries that rely on volunteering.
If you would like to learn more about the protection of land animals, check out our solutions tab and resource page on Goal 15 ‘Life on Land’.