A zoo in Torquay, the UK, has officially become the first one in the United Kingdom to close down permanently because of the devastating effects that were brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Living Coasts, the zoo, will not be reopening after the staff of the zoo found it impossible to manage the “substantial maintenance” costs that they have incurred during this coronavirus lockdown.
Zoos in England have been given the go-ahead to reopen their gates once again as of yesterday, however, some of them are taking more time.
Permanent closure of the zoo, which has been open for nearly 20 years, will leave all the animals in it homeless.
However, the zoo announced that they are in the process of trying to find homes for all the animals that they have.
They are also trying to avoid euthanizing the animals.
44 members of staff that are employed by the zoo are at the risk of redundancy.
The spokesperson of the zoo said in a statement:
It is with regret that Wild Planet Trust has to announce that it will not be re-opening Living Coasts as a visitor attraction following its closure during the current global coronavirus pandemic. Falling visitor numbers and the forced closure of all its zoos due to Covid-19 has meant that it has had to look at its cost base and make efficiencies. After nearly 20 years of operation the site also needed substantial maintenance that the Trust is no longer in a position to afford. The next stage is to find homes for the animals. Living Coasts is part of a world-wide network of zoos and aquariums and we will be looking for homes for the animals within them once movement restrictions have been lifted. Most of the animals kept at Living Coasts are marine species that will need specialist facilities. Living Coast is confident that good new homes for the animals will be found, but at present it is unclear how long this process may take. Our priority is the welfare of our animals. In the unlikely event that we cannot find housing that suits their needs, we may need to the make the difficult decision to euthanise. As things stand, we do not anticipate that this is a likely scenario. This will be considered within the context of the wider restructuring of the Trust’s zoos, and potential redundancies at their other sites (Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo).
The zoo that we are talking about is a huge tourist attraction and is a popular place for schools to visit.
It was first opened to the public in 2003.
The spokesperson said that they take over 6,500 visitors from schools alone this year.
The zoo also thanked people that helped them stay throughout those 20 years.
The statement added:
Wild Planet Trust would like to thank the many people who have visited and supported Living Coasts over the years, and the many businesses, and grant giving trusts which have support our vital conservation work.
Let’s all hope that the zoo could find permanent houses for the animals.