Look, this is a safe space. We can be honest here. Between the empty supermarkets, crumbling economy, and good old fashioned cabin fever, we've all figured out which of our housemates we'd eat first, right? Right, folks? Well, at least one German zoo has, as they have made their list, checked it twice, and decided which exotic animals they'll turn into food first.
Animal parks are big business in Germany, but the coronavirus pandemic has put the nation's many private zoos in a particularly precarious position. Not only do they not qualify for small business aid, but the quarantine has also cost them their most profitable period -- Easter. And since you can't just unplug a tiger and call it a day, these visitor-less zoos are still operating at near max overhead. As a result, the German zoo association claims that some parks are hemorrhaging half a million Euros a week, even with their pandas resorting to doing webcam work on the side.
At Tierpark Neumunster, in northern Germany, things have gotten so bad that they're now threatening to start slaughtering its animals for feed, with director Verena Kaspari admitting she has drawn a list deciding which animals will die first to save the rest. Last on that reverse Noah's Ark is Vitus, the park's 12-foot polar bear and its main attraction, who'll get to feast on all the non-endangered species in the park, like its goats, seals, and zookeepers, if the government decides to continue the lockdown after the end of April.
Before claiming that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt, to garner support for the zoo industry's proposed 100 million Euros emergency aid package, remember your Tiger King lesson: People in the exotic animal business put the batshit in batshit crazy.
In the past years, European zoos have executed animals as publicity stunts several times, like feeding their tigers excess giraffe just to keep costs down. And that was when business was good. Meanwhile, during the worst lockdown of the past 200 years, the Prussian Siege of Paris, it was the people, not the animals, who were fed elephant soup and camel nuggets by desperate zookeepers. So basically it's down to either throwing zoos a couple of extra bucks, or them figuring out if their arctic foxes are worth more as toilet paper than living attractions.
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