Zoos Are Taking A Hit Amidst Surging Covid-19 LockdownsBy Praseetha N
Us humans aren’t the only ones suffering through these tough times. The coronavirus has hit animal shelters and zoos worse! Sure, when we get ill or run out of food, it’s easy to source for it. Animals, however, especially those stuck in the fences of a zoo, depend on caretakers and food supplies to get them through this tough time.
Since the Malaysia government has enforced the movement control order (MCO), all non-essential services are to close. Seeing as Zoo’s are not part of that, you can imagine the dilemma that they were thrown into. An estimated total of RM8 million is needed by 14 zoos and 20 permanent wildlife exhibition centres around the country in order to cover the operating costs until December 2020. This will cover the costs of food supplies, medicine and animal management.
The main source of income for Zoo’s are the ticket sales and the National Zoo has already been facing quite a bit of trouble since last year with its lack of visitors. Now, with zero visitors, they are scrambling to get donations from the public by means of adoption programmes which have garnered positive responses from the public but they still fall short of several thousands. The good news is that the National Zoo managed to receive a funding of RM1.3 million from the Ministry but other Zoo’s are facing trouble keeping up with the expenses.
According to the National Zoo Deputy President Rosly @Rahmat Ahmat Lana, while the donations and animal adoption program received good feedback they are still in dire need of medical assistance. “It is very encouraging especially in terms of food donations, but we did not receive much of medical assistance…we need at least RM12,000 a day for food and medicine,” he said