'Save Dublin Zoo' campaign launched amid fears it may have to close its doors 5 days ago

'Save Dublin Zoo' campaign launched amid fears it may have to close its doors

“We are in serious financial difficulty because of Covid-19."

A new campaign has been launched to save Dublin Zoo from closure.

The zoo, which has suffered considerable financial strain since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, today launched a public fundraising appeal in a bid to stay open.

The ‘Save Dublin Zoo’ campaign aims to raise vital funds to cover the cost of animal care, which representatives say totals to €500,000 each month to feed, house, and care for the animals.

Dublin Zoo is currently closed to the public due to coronavirus restrictions, but its care team are still looking after over 400 animals - a feat they say is proving difficult without the financial addition of visitors.

Director of Dublin Zoo, Dr Christoph Schwitzer, says the zoo has relied on emergency cash reserves to stay open when permitted, but that social distancing measures have made it "near impossible to generate enough revenue to just break even."

“We are in serious financial difficulty because of Covid-19," he says. "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.

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

Dublin Zoo first opened its door in 1830. For decades, it has been a staple of Dublin tourism and family days out, with its more recent Wild Lights exhibition opening up the zoo's ground to even more visitors.

According to Dublin Zoo Operations Manager, Gerry Creighton, the zoo's current 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," he says. "We can no longer support ourselves under current restrictions and are running out of time."

To support the 'Save Dublin Zoo' campaign, you can make a donation, or adopt an animal through the zoo's new adoption packs, here. All donations will go towards the care of the zoo's animals.