Owners of a zoo in Britain are threatening to put their animals down as it is running out of funds to feed exotic breeds due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Dean and Tracy Tweedy, owners of the Borth Wild Animal Kingdom in West Wales, fear they only have enough funds for a week. They said that they’re planning to euthanize ‘the animals that we care for’ as a last resort.
In January, the zoo was ordered to close as it didn’t have trained gunmen in case an animal tries to escape. But it was allowed to run open again in February only to close again in March because of the pandemic.
Ms. Tweedy said many employees are on furlough and the business relief grant of £25,000 has almost run out.
“We were already only scraping by financially after the long, quiet winter season,” she expressed. “We need help now more than ever. Despite everything, we are as determined as ever to not give up.”
Ms. Tweedy also said that it costs £3,000 a week to run the zoo. But after money runs out, they will have to start searching at re-homing but they’re also considering euthanasia as the last solution.
Issues for the zoo started in 2017 when a Eurasian lynx managed to escape and was shot by a marksman after being spotted at a caravan site. Another lynx also passed away in what was described as a ‘handling error.’
According to a report, 1 in 5 of the zoo’s animals died in only one year. In 2018, a leopard, crocodiles and monkeys also died in the zoo.
Owner Dean and Tracy purchased the zoo for £625,000 in 2016 to turn a new page with their family. However, it has since turned into a nightmare for them.
“It would be tragic if mid Wales lost its only zoo. We work with so many local organisations on animal education and wildlife conservation that we see ourselves as a vital asset for the community,” Tracey said.
Many of the animals would be very difficult to rehome because of license requirements. “We also run as a sanctuary for animals that have been rescued from the exotic pet trade. For many of these animals, we are a last resort,” Ms. Tweedy said.
“They came here because destruction was their only alternative.
“They would be very difficult to re-home as the licence requirements to look after these animals and provide the proper care, can be very involved and expensive.”
Zoos had to close in March because of the coronavirus pandemic and many have said their futures are in danger due to the impact of the lockdown.
Andrew RT Davies, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the Welsh Pariament, said: “This is a dire situation that the zoo finds itself in, but I’m afraid that zoos right across Wales are in the same precarious situation and desperately need support due to the profound impact of Covid-19.
“It’s outrageous that whilst the UK Government has taken action and given £14 million to support zoos in England the Welsh Government has still not followed suit. It is high time that the Welsh Labour Government listened to the plight of our zoos and introduce the much-needed fund.”
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!
Recommended Video For You!
“Rare Chimpanzee Born In Front Of Zoo Visitors”