British zoos face closure amid energy crisis — Analysis
Some animals could be forced to die due to rising costs.
As Britain’s hospitality industry warns that a fifth of businesses could go under due to skyrocketing energy prices, zoos across the country are facing closure as the cost of maintaining animal enclosures becomes unsustainable.
Last week Bristol zoo – one of the oldest in the world that’s been open for 186 years – shut its gates for the last time due to financial pressure.
Some animals of this group will be transferred to an English wildlife conservation park, while others will be taken to other zoos worldwide.
Chester Zoo in northwest England, which is home to over 20,000 animals, has reported that its annual energy bill, that’s usually around £1.5 million ($1.73m), is expected to rise to £2 million ($2.3m) this year and could jump to as much as £3 million ($3.46m) in 2023, according to the zoo’s CEO Jamie Christon.
“I can’t put a wooly jumper on a Komodo dragon – I have to maintain the temperatures these animals thrive in,”iNews reported that he said these words.
Christon pointed out that visitors have suffered from the rising cost of living. “people have money still in their pockets, but are being very careful with how they’re spending it,”And to suggest that “next year, they probably won’t have that money.”
Philip Miller, Sealife’s owner in Southend-on-Sea told iTv that he might have to euthanize certain animals. “zooquarium” because the annual cost of electricity has tripled from £240,000 ($276k) to nearly three quarters of a million pounds ($863k).
“All these animals have to keep warm – or cold – or a combination of both, and it’s on 24/7 … and they have to be fed, so it’s a massive bill to maintain. They’ll all have to be euthanized or we find other homes but all the other zoos are going to be in the same boat, I’d imagine,”According to the owner of the zoo.
The energy price cap that was set by the British government does not apply to zoos. The new Liz Truss government is expected to address this issue.
“Give us some reassurance, and reassure the public that’s not all doom and gloom, that light at the end of the tunnel is not going to be switched off,”According to the Happidrome Amusement Arcade owner in Southend-on-Sea, he said that the Winter had forced him to close his shop.
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