Like many businesses that play a central role in the community, zoos and wildlife parks have been effected by the impacts of COVID-19. For our industry, animal welfare remains our number one priority and therefore any assistance is greatly appreciated during these unprecedented times.
The Australian Government funding support will greatly benefit the zoological industry and the animals we care for. The funding will be allocated across Australian zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks following an application process. Perth Zoo will submit an application for funding.
Perth Zoo’s Executive Director, Wendy Attenborough, said: “At Perth Zoo we take animal welfare seriously and are proud of the high standards of care provided to the 1300 animals we look after every day. This is achieved, in part, by the revenue raised from the Zoo entry ticket price.”
Having closed to the public on March 24, Perth Zoo is forecasting a $3.3 million dollar revenue loss, based on projections until June 30, 2020.
Examples of running costs, which the Zoo entry ticket contributes to, include:
- Approximately $500,000 every year to feed the animals at the Zoo;
- More than $200,000 is spent annually on fruit and vegetables;
- More than $86,000 is spent on meat and chicken annually to feed the Zoo’s carnivores;
- Bakari and Memphis the rhinos help munch through more than $11,000 worth of hay per year;
- Whilst our Little Penguins, otters and crocodile help devour more than $30,000 worth of seafood;
“For Perth Zoo, it is the first time that our gates have closed to the public in 122 years, but our business is still operating.”
“We continue to have teams of Zoologists working hard to ensure the animals remain healthy, both mentally and physically. Despite our doors being closed, we have also continued to provide an important service to the community – virtually by developing specific online educational content for teachers and parents, live streams of animal activities, keeper talks and Q &As with Zoo experts to keep people learning about wildlife and connected to the Zoo and each other.”
“We take our responsibilities seriously and are proud of the environmental education, conservation and tourism role we play in society,” said Wendy.