I’ve just learned that the Chester Zoo, the most visited zoo in the United Kingdom and a major supporter of conservation projects around the world, is in trouble. They’ve been hit hard by COVID-19, and they need our help to survive.
I first heard about the zoo’s troubles from Dr. Silvio Marchini, one of this blog’s previous Q&A participants. Zoos in the UK had to close their doors when the COVID pandemic hit, and now the government is saying that they
might have to stay closed indefinitely.
Edit: After releasing this post, Dr. Marchini told me that the UK government has changed its rules regarding zoos; they’ll now be able to accept a limited number of visitors starting on June 15. While this might prevent the Chester Zoo from going under, Dr. Marchini says that it, “will not save its [the zoo’s] science and conservation projects.” This means that the zoo still needs our help to continue its conservation work.
Regardless of whether they’re operating at full capacity, zoos still have expenses. The Chester Zoo, for instance, has to care for over 35,000 animals, maintain 128 acres of gardens, pay their employees, and more.
Unfortunately, 97% of the Chester Zoo’s income comes from visitors. Since there haven’t been any visitors for months, the zoo is approaching £24 million (over $30 million) in debt. They can’t keep operating like this.
The zoo is now asking for donations to keep fighting to prevent extinctions.
I realize that many of you may not know much about this zoo, but they’re one of the best. The Chester Zoo has 68 active conservation projects around the world, helping to conserve jaguars, tigers, lemurs, and more.
If the zoo has to end its conservation projects due to financial pressures, that’d harm countless species of plants and animals – not to mention the people who depend on the zoo either directly or indirectly.
So, while this is an unusual ask for this blog, please consider supporting the Chester Zoo! They’ve done a lot to conserve wildlife around the globe, and they need our help.