According to the Leicestershire zoo’s CEO Dr Sharon Redrobe, the government fund has been capped for Twycross at 800,000 Euros – £731,867 – despite it having a £100 million funding pot.
Twycross Zoo failed to meet the requirements for an emergency government fund, which could mean the tourist spot could close permanently.
The coronavirus lockdown has hit many venues hard, with Twycross Zoo’s CEO claiming the lack of government funding could lead to devastating results as sites struggle to stay open
Without the cash, she warns that the zoo could close.
A zoo has warned of a “mass slaughter” of animals after losing out on government funding and going into major financial difficulty.
Dr Redrobe expressed her disappointment as the amount will not even cover a month of its running costs, reports Derbyshire Live.
When working to maximum capacity it costs £950,000 a month.
It costs £650,000 a month to run while closed and raised just £200,000 through donations during the closure.
It has been open since June 15, but with limited capacity, having been closed since March for lockdown.
“No other zoo worldwide has the funds to create new enclosures immediately as they cost millions.
“The loss of a large collection of endangered species unique in the UK such as Twycross Zoos’ would be devastating and when I say loss, dare I say it, potentially a mass cull as we are all in the same boat.
As a panel speaker at the recent Zoos and Aquariums All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) just days before the Government funding announcement, Dr Redrobe said: “Failing animal welfare and the rundown of facilities, we all know is another road to closure.
“We are all facing the same ending.”
On Saturday, Government animal welfare minister Lord Goldsmith announced a fund designed to ensure the nation’s charitable zoos could not only survive the Covid-19 crisis, but also thrive.
Dr Redrobe said: “As a group of large charity zoos we were extremely disappointed to learn that this fund effectively excludes us and is capped at too low a level.
However, stipulations to this funding means the UK’s largest conservation zoos, including Twycross Zoo, are not eligible.
“Moreover, the 800,000 Euro cap is less than one month’s running costs and so is woefully inadequate for our needs and places thousands of animals at risk.
“We urgently call on the Government to work with us on revisiting the criteria for this fund to truly help save our nation’s zoos.”
“While £100 million is indeed a large total fund, we were extremely frustrated to discover that we would be legally constrained from meeting the eligibility criteria as it requires us to have too few months running costs left.