Zoos that should have been crowded in the sunny Easter holidays are now hard-up and asking for donations, as the coronavirus lockdown bites.
A zoo director in northern Germany has even admitted that some animals might soon have to be fed to others, if the zoo is to survive.
“We’ve listed the animals we’ll have to slaughter first,” Neumünster Zoo’s Verena Kaspari told Die Welt.
Berlin Zoo has infant panda twins, but their fans can only watch them online.
The zoo’s spokeswoman Philine Hachmeister told DPA news agency “the panda twins are adorably sweet”.
“Constantly we’re thinking ‘the visitors should be watching them live’. We don’t want the little pandas to be grown up by the time we finally reopen.”
Ms Kaspari at Neumünster Zoo said killing some animals so that others could live would be a last resort, and “unpleasant”, but even that would not solve the financial problem.
The seals and penguins needed big quantities of fresh fish daily, she pointed out.
“If it comes to it, I’ll have to euthanise animals, rather than let them starve,” she said.
“At the worst, we would have to feed some of the animals to others.”