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Head of zoo says he might start killing animals if he can’t open or get stimulus

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The director of Dvůr Králové Zoo says that without any visitors or relief money, the zoo will be forced to start selling and/or euthanizing the animals that they can no longer afford to feed and take care of.

Přemysl Rabas, who heads the zoo in Hradec Králové, says that killing zoo animals is obviously an extreme thing to do, but the COVID-19 restrictions are leaving him with no other choice. 

“Some animals will have to be moved to other zoos around the world while others will just have to be killed. It’s an absolutely extreme solution, but the current situation is slowly pushing us in that direction.”

Rabas says the only solution, besides being allowed to open the zoo, is to receive money from the government.

“The Ministry of Finance should provide the Ministry of the Environment with the necessary funds on top of the currency state subsidy, which should then be distributed among the individual zoos in accordance to the size of their operations. That would be one of the ways to solve the current situation.” 

Zlín Zoo, which has continuously lost millions each month since the COVID-19 restrictions, is reportedly getting rid of animals already, such as their tiger cubs.

“It’s one way to save, but we will negotiate whether to move them to another zoo temporarily or perhaps permanently, unfortunately, said Roman Horský, director of Zlín Zoo.

The struggling zoos are being addressed by Czech officials. Richard Brabec, Minister of the Environment, said that doubling the relief funds is being discussed. 

“This week I discussed further assistance to the zoos and I can confirm that we are increasing our subsidies again, specifically by double compared to last year. Zoos can thus ask for quick help in the total amount of 40 million CZK from March.”

Illustrative photo by Sameer Mohsin on Unsplash

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