Plagued by visitor shortage, Saigon Zoo asks for $ 1.3 million in financial support
Giraffe is fed at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden in HCMC 1 District, September 2021. Photo by VnExpress / Tuan Viet
Without visitors amid strict closures, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden in HCMC has asked for VND 30 billion ($ 1.3 million) in aid from the city authorities to remain operational.
Pham Van Tan, director of Saigon Zoo-Botanical Garden Company Ltd, said the zoo, a popular tourist destination, had been closed since May as a Covid containment measure, although the company still spent $ 3-4 billion. VND every month to take care of his plants. and animals.
The company estimated it would need more than VND 45 billion to cover costs until the end of 2021; therefore, he decided to seek financial support from municipal authorities to help him maintain its operations.
Since the start of the pandemic, the zoo has taken austerity measures to reduce operating costs but the shortage of visitors has left it in dire financial straits.
Tan said that due to the vast economic fallout caused by the fourth wave of the coronavirus, the company has not sought help from the public outside of the official request to the city.
However, many Saigonese have shared the zoo’s bank account number on social media to call on the public to help them overcome their financial difficulties.
In April last year, the zoo was forced to close its doors for several months amid the worsening pandemic. The extended shutdown resulted in a reported loss of VND 6.8 billion for 2020.
Built in 1864, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest zoos in the world. It is self-financed, all of the funds coming from the sale of tickets.
The zoo is also home to more than 1,300 animals, including rare species and 2,500 trees.
Before the pandemic, the zoo was a popular tourist destination in the city, drawing thousands of visitors on weekends and holidays.