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UK zoos may permanently close

Concerns exist over the future of zoos in the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While the lockdown is easing for shops and other non-essential businesses on 15 June, allowing their recovery process to begin, animal attractions are being forced to ask the public for help to stay afloat as ministers insist the visit ban must stay.

The Zoological Society of London (ZLS), located in London, has not seen a visitor since mid-March.

This comes as zoos across the UK have been ordained to remain closed "indefinitely" by government officials due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Whilst Britain's zoos insist they are able to make their attractions safer and more secure for visitors, their efforts are being ignored.

Image credit: Travel Triangle

This comes as a major blow, particularly as the UK has seen its public beaches, parks and UK beauty spots bursting with people. Meanwhile, zoos - which offer huge outdoor spaces with large pathways and the capability to instil one-way systems and other safety measures - remain ghost towns.

Chief operating officer for Chester zoo detailed how revenue from visitors makes up a whopping 97 per cent of the zoo's income. To care for the zoo's 35,000 animal residents, a major £465,000 a month is required for their upkeep, including additional outgoings for utilities, insurance, maintenance and security.

The long period of closure will undoubtedly have a lasting and devastating impact on the future of the zoo, as well as many others across the UK. Simply put, they may never reopen their doors again, putting thousands of jobs and the future of the animals at risk.

To help stop this from happening, zoos across the UK are reaching out to the public to save them. Some are asking people to adopt an animal, while others have launched crowdfunding campaigns.

In a world at the helms of coronavirus, it has been truly hard to enjoy anything other than a visit to the local park with some mates or loved ones. Zoos would provide a COVID-secure environment and outdoor experience that people could visit with confidence.

Is the government rationale wrong on this one?


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