ATHENS, Greece (AP) — It’s feeding time at Greece’s easiest zoo, and a capuchin monkey grabs as many mandarins as it’ll — even tucking one into his long, supple tail. It might in point of fact additionally be wise to stock up.
After being closed for nearly three months due to COVID-19, the zoo on the fringes of Athens might perchance additionally be on the avenue to extinction: With out a paying visitors or — in inequity to different European zoos — ample government succor to cover its very particular desires, the Attica Zoological Park faces huge bills to retain 2,000 animals well-fed and wholesome.
“As things are … we still can toddle on for on the least one month,” zoo founder and CEO Jean Jacques Lesueur stated. “After that, we don’t know.”
Not like some corporations pressured to rapid stop due to virus-retain an eye on restrictions, the zoo continues to get sizeable working charges. Between meals, salaries, utilities, medical institution treatment and different charges, the brand of caring for the animals presently exceeds 200,000 euros ($243,000) per thirty days.
“That’s the variation between us and different corporations: After they stop they stop. We stop, but we don’t stop,” Lesueur told The Associated Press.
Based in 2000 and located in the town of Spata, the zoo occupies 20 hectares (50 acres) and is dwelling to 290 species, from elephants to prairie canine. It’s taking into consideration training, conservation and breeding, and belongs to the European Affiliation of Zoos and Aquaria, which has about 400 participants.
Having to stop over again on Nov. 7 after Greece’s two-month spring lockdown came at a wicked time for Attica Zoological Park. The zoo typically operates year-spherical but does masses of its enterprise in the midst of cooler weather “because in Greece folks toddle to the seashores, to the islands, they don’t search recommendation from zoos” in the summertime, the French-born Lesueur stated.
Visitors account for more than 99% of its earnings, from tickets, meals and beverages and gift shop gross sales. So every month’s earnings counts, and the loss of December, typically busy due to the Christmas holidays, was once particularly heavy.
To this level, suppliers get shown working out and are accepting credit score. Two-thirds of the zoo’s workers is on convey-supported furlough, and an anticipated installment of convey succor will take care of this month’s pay for the leisure, the CEO stated.
The zoo additionally has bought 5,000 come tickets at reduced prices for when the lockdown ends, and Lesueur says that helped pay December’s salaries.
Lockdown additionally affects the zoo’s residents, accustomed as they’re to crowds of humans. For almost three months, they’ve easiest been seeing their keepers. So the tables get been turned into when an AP journalist visited final week: A lot of irregular animals and birds came stop for a factual look.
“Animals miss visitors, because it’s allotment of their life,” Lesueur stated. “The total animals you sight (here) are born in different zoos. In screech that they’re outdated to folks.”
Greece has registered about 150,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections to this level and some 5,800 deaths in the pandemic. After peaking above 3,300 in November, the gathering of most up-to-date day-to-day conditions is preserving in the triple digits.
Nonetheless, the larger Athens convey stays the nation’s worst-hit set and authorities stated Friday they’ll reimpose tougher lockdown restrictions there after a January decline in infection rates was once reversed this week.
Total, Lesueur says he’s optimistic that the zoo will rep clearance to reopen in coming weeks.
“Rather then if the COVID (scenario) gets worse. That’s every other story,” he stated. “Now if we’re closed for every other two months or three months, I indisputably don’t know what is going to happen.”
Be aware AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: