It’s a case of SAFARI so good for Dublin Zoo which has been bowled over by the response to its appeal for funds.
The ‘Save Dublin Zoo’ campaign kicked off seven days ago and the e2.3MILLION donated so far by the public proves it’s been one NECK of a week.
Staff can only hope for the BEAST as the fundraising drive continues. Operations manager Gerry Creighton told Dublin Gazette: “We’re not out of the woods yet.
“We hope people continue to help us out when they can.”
Gerry, a second-generation zookeeper like his father before him, said staff at the Phoenix Park facility could not put into words their gratitude. When zoo chiefs announced the wildlife park may be forced to clos, funds flooded in with a cool €1m donated in just 24 hours.
On Tuesday Gerry said: “It’s been incredible, we’ve been overwhelmed with the support. We now have almost €2.3m as the figure stands, it’s an extraordinary amount of money. The support, love and outpouring of messages we’ve received from the public has been amazing; everybody loves the zoo.
“It’s been transformed from the old Victorian zoo to a beautiful place protecting endangered species and people are mindful of that.”
The public has supported the zoo in a variety of ways – buying family year passes, snapping up limited edition Save Dublin Zoo hoodies, and adopting an animal (€50) in their droves.
Gerry stressed: “While the donation to date is amazing it’s really only a little over four months’ salary. We still need support as we probably won’t get the gates open again for a while yet. We have 400 animals here, 100 different species, and it costs €70,000 a day just to feed them.”
The RTE series The Zoo marked its 100th episode at the weekend and Gerry credits the fly-on-the-wall documentary with highlighting the work done behind the scenes.
He said: “People seeing the dedication of the team, the care in how we treat the animals, it’s part of the fabric of Irish society. People were just not going to accept the zoo closing. “
For more information on how to help visit www.dublinzoo.ie.