BALPPA, the British Association of Leisure, Parks, Piers and Attractions, has conducted a survey which shows high levels of support for zoos during the lockdown.
BALPPA has collated data from members which shows that the public has donated over £100,000 while UK zoos are closed due to coronavirus.
The zoo and aquarium sector has been hit hard by the crisis as revenues fall but running costs remain high. Many have launched appeals and fundraising campaigns, and the latest figures from BALPPA show high levels of support from the public.
“As an association, we are doing everything we can to help support our members during these extremely challenging times and working with them to put together recovery plans,” says BALPPA Chief Executive Paul Kelly.
“Many zoos rely almost exclusively on revenue from visitors to feed and care for their animals. With no option but to close they’re now looking to the public to help support them. Our members are reporting high levels of support both from their local communities as well as further afield with people getting in contact directly to see what they can do to help.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for all businesses, however for wildlife collections the added responsibility to ensure their animals remain fit and well makes it all the more urgent. Many zoos have launched their own fundraising sites and we would ask anyone who feels they can help out to support them.”
For example, Dudley & West Midlands Zoological Society’s JustGiving page has already raised over £10,000 to go towards animal care while the zoo is closed. Meanwhile, Hamerton Zoo is appealing to visitors through its own CrowdFunding Page in order to raise the £4,000 needed per day to look after its animal inhabitants.
Birdworld has been blown away by the support of its visitors, who are donating vital funds to cover food, housing and medical care for its birds. So far, the GoFundMe page has raised over£20,000. And an impressive £65,968 has been donated to Paignton Zoo through its own fundraising page.
Paignton Zoo expressed its heartfelt thanks, saying: ‘When this is all over and we open again, you’ll be able to walk around our zoos and know that you helped the animals through those tough times.’
Colchester Zoo’s Zoo Operating Fund aims to raise money to go towards the £25,479 that is needed to run the zoo each day. Some fans have been conducting their own fundraisers too.
Earlier this year, BALPPA announced that it will be rescheduling its trade expo to November 2020 due to coronavirus.
Image kind courtesy of Twycross Zoo.