Battersea Park Zoo crowdfunds to keep zoo going during pandemic

Staff Reporter (27 April, 2020)

The zookeepers at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo are essential workers and are needed to uphold the high level of care given to the animals

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The team at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is calling on members of the public for donations to help look after the animals during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

The zoo relies completely on visitor ticket sales and memberships to cover their overall running costs. In line with the COVID-19 Government guidelines, the zoo closed to visitors on March 21. This coincided with the beginning of the zoo’s busiest season from Easter through to Autumn.

The zookeepers at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo are essential workers and are needed to uphold the high level of care given to the animals. The committed animal keepers continue to work at the zoo every day during the pandemic; ensuring the animals’ welfare is paramount. The team is going the extra mile to ensure the animals remain healthy and happy, although many of the animals do miss the visitors. The zoo’s otters wait at the front of their pool each morning at 10am, looking over the wall across the pathway to see if the visitors are coming in to see them.

Any donations would go towards maintaining the expected standard of animal welfare at the zoo and managing the associated running costs that come with the exotic species they house. £75 would buy enough insects to feed all of the monkeys and lemurs for one week. £150 would feed all of the animals and provide fresh bedding for one day. £500 would ensure a few days peace of mind during this uncertain time.

The zoo’s daily food costs for the 100+ animals (47 species) living at the zoo is approximately £115 a day. This includes all fresh vegetables, fruits, pellet feeds, meat and fish. The weekly cost of insects for the monkeys, meerkats, lemurs, coatis and birds is nearly £80. £400 a month is needed for hay,  straw and bedding materials. Monthly staffing costs for their animal zookeeper team is £7,600 and on top of these, other overheads including bills for water and specialist heating and UV lighting are incurred.

The zoo also runs a creative education programme complying with the National Curriculum and teaches interactive workshops based on conservation, adaptations, the food chain and camouflage. The education programme attracts schools from all over London and is usually fully booked each year, sometimes with up to 90 school children engaged in tours and workshops in a single day. Throughout school holidays there are organised craft and educational events for the young visitors. One of the busiest events is the annual hedgehog day where the staff encourage Londoners to help hedgehogs thrive as they’re currently on the brink of extinction in the UK.  Approximately 8,500 school children a year visit the zoo.

 To donate and help keep the zoo running, please visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/battersea-zoo-crowdfunder

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