Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Driving Britain's zoos to extinction?
In Devon, Southwest England, Dartmoor Zoo is home to 152 species of animals - many of which are close to extinction. But how has the zoo survived while Covid-19 eliminated its visitor numbers?
Forced to close due to the UK's coronavirus lockdown in March, Dartmoor Zoo was one of numerous zoos hit by the pandemic. The owner purchased the zoo in 2006, when it was failing - now he fears for the zoo's future once again. 'COVID has been really scary because the bills keep coming, you’ve got massive fixed costs and there’s absolutely no money at all through the normal channels. ' However, not everyone is saddened by the potential demise of zoos. 'We are still allowing wild animals to live in the most hideous conditions', claims Virginia McKenna, anti-zoo and animal protection advocate. Despite zoos’ potential for conservation, many are unconvinced. 'The proportion of finances within the zoo industry that are going towards conservation is remarkably small', explains another advocate.FULL SYNOPSIS