Twycross Zoo has warned that it could be forced to cull animals if it runs out of money.
The head of Twycross Zoo has told a Zoos and Aquariums All-Party Parliamentary Group that it needs £11.5 million in urgent funding to survive.
The Zoo closed its doors on 24th March due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and was closed for 83 days, the longest period in its 57-year history.
Although the zoo is now open, it claims to be barely breaking even as it has had to limit its visitor numbers to allow for adequate social distancing.
Earlier this week, the government announced a £100 million funding lifeline for zee designed to ensure charitable zoos could survive.
However, strict restrictions on the funding mean that some of the UK’s largest conservation zoos, including Twycross Zoo, are not eligible.
Chief Executive for Twycross Zoos Dr. Sharon Redrobe OBE said; “Like most businesses, we had the ability to survive for 3 months. Cash flow was always going to be an issue as of this week and now it is urgent.”
Dr. Redrobe warns that without further funding the zoo will “suffer a slow and painful death”, running out of cash by the end of the year.
“The loss of a large collection of endangered species unique in the UK such as Twycross Zoos’ would be devastating and when I say loss, dare I say it, potentially a mass cull as we are all in the same boat,’ she added.
“No other zoo world-wide has the funds to create new enclosures immediately as they cost millions. We are all facing the same ending.”
The Zoo is calling for the support of the public by donating.