Amid the global pandemic and economic crisis, some zoos have been faced with an unimaginable choice as they struggle to pay for and obtain food for their many animals.
In Germany, the shutdown of business has had a devastating impact on a naturally busy season for the many zoos in the country. Plunging the zoos into a financial spiral, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to both purchase and afford food for the animals housed there.
Almost all the zoos in Germany are currently relying on donations to keep their animals healthy and fed, but drastic plans have been drawn up as zoo leaders are fearing the worst.
A large number of the zoos within the country are part of a conservancy association which means that they fall outside of the umbrella of economic stimulus packages and are forced to find alternative ways to keep the animals fed.
The director of the zoo called Tierpark Newumünster, Verena Kaspari, told local newspaper Berliner Morgenpost that if the situation does not improve, the zoo will be forced to slaughter some animals to feed others.
Some animals at a German zoo may be slaughtered to feed others as a last resort due to food shortage and financial problems during #COVID19 lockdown.
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) April 16, 2020
This means that the zoo had to create a list of which animals would be killed first…and which they would try to keep alive the longest. The zoo explained that they had already created the order of survival for the animals as they believe this stage is coming sooner rather than later.
A German zoo says it may start killing animals and feeding them to others as a last resort, due to money problems caused by #coronavirus lockdown.
It did not say which of its 700 animals would be killed, but says it will spare its prized, nearly 12-foot polar bear Vitus. pic.twitter.com/GbthD7c7J9
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 15, 2020
“Worst case scenario, if I no longer have any money to buy food, or if it should happen that my food supplier is no longer able to supply me due to new restrictions, then I would slaughter animals to feed other animals,” Kaspari told the outlet.
So far, the zoo has already begun to slaughter some animals.
“One would have to consider whether more animals should be slaughtered in order to survive the predators,” she added.
Other zoos in the country have rejected the notion saying that it “would be the last thing that comes to mind.”
Currently, the member zoos of The Association of Zoological Gardens (Auch der Verband der Zoologischen Gärten) are seeking a variety of methods to obtain financial relief including rescue packages.
We pray that the zoos are able to find funding and help care for these animals the way they should.