As the world continues to fight against the COVID19 virus which feels a constant uphill battle with no light at the end of the tunnel, for one zoo their battle is of being able to feed their beloved animals.
The zoo in Germany has devised a sad and heartbreaking plan to stay afloat while they are closed by feeding their animals to each other.
The announcement came after the zoo along with many other animal sanctuaries begged German Chancellor Angela Merkel for 100 million euros to help care for their animals during the social distancing restrictions.
“We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first,” Verena Kaspari, director of Neumünster Zoo, tells German newspaper Die Welt, according to BBC. Neumünster belongs to an association and is therefore not entitled to financial relief from the state, leaving the visitor-less zoo with little recourse.
Kaspari didn’t list which animals will be slaughtered, but she says the “unpleasant” cost-cutting measure might not even be enough to offset their losses. Penguins and seals require an exorbitant amount of fish per day to sustain them, and unlike other businesses, zoos can’t go dormant during the pandemic due to animals’ daily feeding and enclosure maintenance requirements.
“If it comes to it, I’ll have to euthanize animals, rather than let them starve,” says Kaspari, they so far predict that the business could lose up to $200,000 this spring.
The toll isn’t merely financial. Berlin Zoo spokeswoman Philine Hachmeister says the situation is “really boring” for charismatic creatures like seals and apes, who love human visitors.
Some zoos and aquariums have managed to circumvent social distancing concerns by offering virtual safaris that can be enjoyed from the comfort of animal lovers’ homes, this still, however, does not assist with funding as they are free to view.