Dublin Zoo launches fundraising campaign to help ‘Save Dublin Zoo’
18 November 2020: Dublin Zoo today announced the launch of the ‘Save Dublin Zoo’ fundraising campaign, appealing to the Irish public for help, as financial losses caused by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions continue to mount. The campaign has been launched to raise vital funds to help cover the cost of animal care, which alone totals €500,000 each month, as emergency cash reserves begin to run out. Without financial support, Dublin Zoo is concerned it may have to make the difficult decision to close its gates to the public. Donations can be made today at www.DublinZoo.ie
Although Dublin Zoo is currently closed to the public because of Covid-19 restrictions, the dedicated animal care team is still providing world-class levels of care to over 400 animals which will always be the top priority. It costs €500,000 per month to feed, house and provide the highest level of care for the animals, but without regular income from visitor gate receipts since March, Dublin Zoo is struggling to cover its substantial running costs.
Speaking on the launch of the Save Dublin Zoo fundraising campaign and about the current financial difficulty faced by Dublin Zoo during the Covid-19 pandemic, Director of Dublin Zoo, Dr Christoph Schwitzer said:
“We are in serious financial difficulty because of Covid-19 and are launching the Save Dublin Zoo campaign to raise much needed funds to help care for the animals here at the Zoo. We understand this is a challenging time for everyone, so we are asking people to only give what they can – every donation counts no matter the size. We have relied on our emergency cash reserves to remain open when allowed, but even then, visitor number restrictions due to social distancing have made it near impossible to generate enough revenue to just break even. Without financial support, we are facing an uncertain future and may have to close.
At this time of year, we are usually in the middle of Wild Lights and making preparations for the busy Christmas period, but instead we find ourselves fighting for our future and calling on the people of Ireland to answer our call and donate if possible. We are so grateful for the messages of support from our devoted visitors and annual pass holders who have shown an outpouring of love and compassion from the start. We are now asking those who are able to help us, to give what they can and help raise awareness for the Save Dublin Zoo campaign”.
Dublin Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation which does not receive statutory funding. Revenue streams, in the form of gate receipts and onsite sales, have all but evaporated because of Covid-19 and to date Dublin Zoo has lost €8.2m in potential revenue. The health and safety of staff and visitors during Covid-19 is of utmost importance, but unfortunately, the likely continuation of restrictions on visitor numbers into next year may mean Dublin Zoo may have to close its doors as it cannot afford to stay open under current operating conditions.
How people can help
There are many ways you can support Dublin Zoo.
You can also help by spreading the word of the ‘Save Dublin Zoo’ campaign by posting your favourite memory of Dublin Zoo along with your donation or fundraiser on social media with the hashtag #SaveDublinZoo
Every euro received will go towards the care of Dublin Zoo animals. €25 is enough to feed one of the red pandas for a day. €50 is enough to feed a lion for one day. €75 euro will feed an elephant for a day. €100 will feed a southern white rhinoceros for a week.
Dublin Zoo Operations Manager, Gerry Creighton said;
“Although we are closed to the public and the financial losses continue to mount, our passion, love and dedication to the animals in our care is as strong as ever. Our amazing animal care team has continued to deliver a world-class standard of care in tough operating conditions and that will never change. We’ve tried to stay positive by providing a safe and enjoyable environment for the people of Ireland during this awful pandemic. So many of you invited us into your home by availing of our online activities, educational resources and virtual tours and we’ve really enjoyed helping put a smile on people’s face during this trying time.
However, our situation is very serious. For generations, we have been a place where families and friends come together to connect with nature, learn about animals and be inspired together. We can no longer support ourselves under current restrictions and are running out of time. Please help us Save Dublin Zoo. Even the smallest donations will help see us through these uncertain times so we can all experience the magic, joy and learning of Dublin Zoo again soon”.
Dublin Zoo has transformed beyond recognition in the past decade, with extensive work undertaken to make the zoo one of the best in the world. This work could not have happened without the support of the Irish public, which helped build Dublin Zoo into the world-class facility it is today. Following the most challenging year in its 189-year history, Dublin Zoo is looking to the Irish public to help guarantee its future and support our missions to protect wildlife for generations to come.
Speaking as the proud Sustainability Partner of Dublin Zoo, Klair Neenan – Managing Director, SSE Airtricity said:
“The impact of Covid19 on Dublin Zoo has been severe. When we heard about the Save Dublin Zoo campaign we were delighted to be able to support the fundraising efforts by donating €20,000 which we hope will go some way to helping everyone at the zoo continue their incredible work.
Dublin Zoo has made many memorable moments for all of us, and it holds a special place in the hearts of so many families across Ireland. We hope everyone can support this fantastic campaign so we can all look forward to visiting Dublin Zoo and sharing more smiles and special memories in the near future.”
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