Dublin Zoo, a national treasure, recently launched an appeal to the public for help to continue its operations as it has been devastated by the impact of the restriction brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The popular tourist spot launched the Save Dublin Zoo campaign to help cover the €500,000 monthly cost of animal care as its emergency cash reserve has run out.

Dublin Zoo Asked for Help from Closure and Supporters Gave $1.2 Million in Hours
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons )
Lions in Dublin Zoo. Dublin Zoo, a national treasure, recently launched an appeal to the public for help to continue its operations as it has been devastated by the impact of the restriction brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: COVID-19: Zoo's Conservation Work at Risk of Closure Due to Funding Crisis


The looming closure of Dublin Zoo

The Dublin Zoo has about 400 animal residents.

Despite the zoo being closed to the public, the animal care team's top priority is taking care of the facility's 400 animal residents.

The monthly cost of the €500,000 food, housing, and a high level of care for the animals.

Dublin Zoo is a 700-acre zoo inside Pheonix Park and had hosted more than 1.2 million visits last year.

The zoo has become a national treasure since it was opened in 1831 and is known as Ireland's third most-visited family attraction and destination. The zoo also partnered with other wildlife centers around the world and had funded several conservation projects.

Regular income for the zoo is normally from visitor gate receipts. Still, since March, when the lockdown began, and the visitors were prohibited, the facility began struggling to cover the substantial costs. Even when the zoo was allowed to open but with several restrictions due to social distancing, the zoo could not generate enough revenue to break even.

"Without financial support, we are facing an uncertain future and may have to close."

This year, the zoo has been closed for five months.

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Save the Dublin Zoo Campaign

According to director Dr. Christoph Schwitzer, We are in serious financial difficulty because of Covid-19. We are launching the Save Dublin Zoo campaign to raise much-needed funds to help care for the animals here at the zoo." Schwitzer said that this is a challenging time for everyone, but they ask people to give what they can as every donation counts. The Dublin Zoo director asked people to help by organizing fundraisers, "adopting" an animal, or donating directly at DublinZoo.ie. Every amount that the zoo receives will be for animal care. A red panda, for example, needs at least €25 ($29) to feed for a day, €50 ($59) for a lion, €75 ($88.50) for an elephant - and €100 ($118) feeds a southern white rhinoceros for a week.


Overwhelming Response

A few hours after the zoo launched the campaign by Wednesday evening, the zoo received more than a million euros in donations from the public. The government also pledged their support to the zoo.

The response to the campaign was immense for an island nation with a population of five million people. Dublin's Mayor Hazel Chu expressed her commitment to sponsor a baby elephant.

Celebrities and politicians also expressed their support for the campaign and commitment so that Dublin Zoo will avoid closure. Thousands of people also shared memories of their childhood visits to the zoo with the accompanying hashtag #SaveDublinZoo.

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