THE DIRECTOR of a zoo in Germany has revealed they have compiled a list of animals that would have to be slaughtered and fed to others if the coronavirus crisis continues.
Neumünster Zoo's director Verena Kaspari told the BBC she is facing losses of around £150,000 this Spring with more likely to be incurred this summer.
Much of this stems from the vast amounts of fresh food required to feed the animals every day.
Part of the problem lies in the fact the zoo is owned by an association and therefore does not fall under the emergency crisis funding scheme for businesses put in place by the German government.
Not only is the zoo suffering because of a lack of visitors but the current lockdown means Ms Kaspari is unable to organise for the animals to be transferred to a nature reserve or other zoo.
It’s a situation that has prompted Kaspari to draw up her the grim list.
"We've listed the animals we'll have to slaughter first," she revealed to Die Welt.
Worse still, Kaspari says such extreme measures would do little to help the zoo’s long-term prospects other than prevent the animals from starving – something she refused to contemplate.
"If it comes to it, I'll have to euthanise animals, rather than let them starve," she said.
Neumünster Zoo is most famous as the home of the 1oft tall polar bear, Vitus, who is the largest in the country and, as a result, cannot be housed anywhere else in Germany.
The zoo is one of several across the region calling for greater financial support during the coronavirus crisis.
The Verband der Zoologischen Gärten, the leading association of scientifically managed zoological gardens in German-speaking countries, is calling for funding in the region of €100m to be provided.