Coronavirus: German zoo could feed animals to each other

Neumunster Zoo said it may have to slaughter animals as it feels financial pressure

FILE PHOTO: Western lowland gorilla Fatou eats a hard-boiled Easter Egg during a media event at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany, April 16, 2019.    REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo
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A German zoo could be forced to feed their animals to each other as a last resort due to financial pressures posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Verena Kaspari, director of Neumunster Zoo, said slaughtering some animals to keep the wildlife park open would be “unpleasant” but added the measures could be necessary to ensure it's survival.

"We've listed the animals we'll have to slaughter first," she told Die Welt.

"If it comes to it, I'll have to euthanise animals, rather than let them starve.

"At the worst, we would have to feed some of the animals to others,” Ms Kaspari added.


She has estimated the zoo could lose tens of thousands of euros over the spring if the closure continues. The association that owns the zoo does not qualify for emergency funding from the German government.

It’s unclear which animals would be killed first and used as food. Neumunster Zoo has been contacted for comment.

The park is home to some 700 animals from more than 100 different species including a polar bear, wolves and snakes.

While the amount of food the animals consume is vast, there are also concerns that zoos will be unable to afford covering energy costs.

Zoos in Germany had written to Chancellor Angela Merkel pleading for 100 million euros to help them look after their animals during the coronavirus crisis.

Because the of quarantine measures introduced by the government, animals in zoos are unable to be moved elsewhere, as would normally happen, when an enclosure is unable to care for its animals.

It’s widely expected Germany will announce that strict measures brought in to stop the pandemic spreading such as closing schools will be extended until early May.