“In 20 years, this is the first time the park has closed, not even for Christmas and New Year. It was the first time”, says the park director, who houses about 1,200 animals of almost 145 species.
At a time when the date for the reopening of zoological parks is still uncertain, Paulo Figueiras expresses his hope that “in May, latest June” they may open their doors again, “although with some restrictions”.
Closed since 15 March, it is possible to maintain its operation due to “some financial support”, but only “for some time”, he confesses.
For this reason, they are promoting online sales campaigns with 50 percent discount, “to get some cash” and will seek to “make the zoo more dynamic” by exploring the friend card “with fixed annual value and unlimited visits”, as well as “sponsoring animals and other initiatives”.
Financial management, essential at this stage, requires savings that are reflected in the renovation work to mark the park’s 20th anniversary, but it does not compromise the monitoring of the zoo’s inhabitants.
“Animals continue to be treated as before”, says the park’s curator, Agostinho Costa, to Lusa.
“We have no visitors, but everything else has to maintain its routine”, says Paulo Figueiras, stressing that this year “there will be a lot less” people who visit the park, which receives about 70,000 visitors per year.
Fruit and vegetables are being offered by supermarket chains with whom they have “an agreement to collect what they can no longer sell to customers”. Feed and hay, on the other hand, “has to still be bought”.