By Julia Riopelle, SciTech Editor
Bristol Zoo and the Wild Place have been strongly affected by the governmental restrictions due to COVID-19, with 35 staff posts being at risk of dismissal at the Zoo, and prolonged losses in profits, despite being able to reopen their sites after lockdown.
Low visitation numbers and earlier closing times have caused tourism to suffer. Bristol Zoological Society predicts a multi-million-pound loss this year to funding due to the pandemic, which is vital for staff positions, breeding programs and conservation projects abroad.
Dr Justin Morris, CEO of Bristol Zoological Society stated, ‘The expense of caring for our animals is considerable. We continue to run our conservation breeding programs as well as our conservation field projects across four continents. This work is now more important than ever before in a world where humans and wildlife are increasingly struggling to co-exist.’
We're celebrating our amazing keepers for the incredible job they've done this year. Despite us having to close our gates for 4 months, they powered on through, working everyday to provide top-notch care for our animals ❤️ They truly are a great bunch🙌#InternationalZooKeeperDay pic.twitter.com/CWMzRpZ1Ve— Bristol Zoo Gardens (@BristolZooGdns) October 4, 2020
Bristol Zoo tried to apply for financial aid by the government’s emergency Zoo Support Fund, but were not granted the money due to donations acquired from past charity work. Despite having money saved, it is not enough to sustain the animals at the zoo, the staff or the species they work with overseas, and now 35 posts are at risk of being dismissed.
As the pandemic prolongs and is likely to enter 2021, Bristol Zoo is trying to prepare itself for the further damage that is on its way.
Featured Image: Julia Riopelle / Epigram
When was the last time you visited Bristol Zoo?