Twycross Zoo, which has the largest collection of monkeys and apes in the Western World, has warned of a ‘mass cull’ after it failed to meet the requirements for government funding.
The Leicestershire-based zoo says it was ‘extremely frustrated’ to learn it was eligible for £731,867 – which it argues doesn’t cover running costs for a month.
£100 million has been allocated to help zoos survive after they were forced to temporarily shut following the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to the Derby Telegraph, the zoo’s CEO Dr. Sharon Redrobe said: “The loss of a large collection of endangered species unique in the U.K 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.
“No other zoo worldwide has the funds to create new enclosures immediately as they cost millions. We are all facing the same ending.”
Animal welfare minister Lord Goldsmith says he will ‘continue to with zoos and conservation community to ensure they get the support they need.
Earlier this year, a wildlife expert warned the Covid-19 lockdown could result in zoos slaughtering animals as they run out of money.
Sam Threadgill, head of the Freedom for Animals charity, described the situation as ‘deeply worrying’ – and says it illustrates why animals should not be kept in captivity in zoos.
His warning followed an announcement from Neumünster Zoo in Germany, which revealed it may end up feeding animals to each other, as the coronavirus lockdown results in cash flow issues.