One of the oldest Zoos in Europe, ARTIS, is being forced to relocate its lions in the wake of multiple shutdowns stemming from COVID-19.
The Amsterdam Zoo has been closed since December 2020. In 2018, Artis had 1.4 million visitors.
According to Reuters, Rembrandt Sutorius, director of the park, said that attendance was down by 50% in 2020. With its fixed costs of 60,000 euros a day, the park currently has an accumulated budget shortfall of 20 million euros.
Photo: Courtesy of @artis.amsterdam
“The consequences of the corona crisis are enormous. This makes us no longer able to fund the expansion plans of the lion lodge. This means that the lions will leave ARTIS as of February 15. This goodbye is very difficult for us,” the zoo posted on their Instagram page.
The zoo was founded in 1838 to promote the knowledge of natural history. Before its establishment, most European zoos were privately owned. About 12 years ago, ARTIS began renovating and expanding to make the zoo more socially relevant for the future. It took on a transformation from a zoo to an educational institution.
The zoo is home to over 900 species of animals. The aquarium has species from the Amazonian rainforest, a tropical coral reef, tropical fish and an authentic Amsterdam canal with its own aquatic life. The establishment includes a monkey house where monkeys can play among the visitors and a birdhouse where large bats fly over people’s heads.
The coronavirus lockdowns closed ARTIS three times in less than a year. The zoo maintains over 80 buildings, 27 of which are monuments. The zoo is launching a national campaign under the hashtag #vergeetARTISnit, which means “Don’t forget ARTIS.”
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