The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an internationally recognised global conservation charity that combines scientific research with public engagement and learning programmes delivered through their world-class zoos, ZSL London and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Following Government guidance, they shut the doors to their Zoos to protect visitors, staff, and animals from the pandemic. Although their two sites were closed for over 10 weeks, over 22,000 animals, many of which are rare and endangered, continued to be cared for by their zookeepers and supported by vets, animal nutritionists, and behaviour experts. Their incredibly dedicated teams include security, carpenters, plumbers, and site maintenance staff, all of whom are playing a vital role. The closure of our Zoos has shut off the vast majority of ZSL’s income, so funding is desperately needed to feed and care for the animals.
Prior to the pandemic, ZSL had no debt and held reserves, however they cannot absorb the impact of a period of sustained closure. ZSL does not receive government grants, and is not eligible for government led-emergency relief schemes as it is a unique organisation. The incredibly generous donation from the Scheinberg Relief Fund is a desperately needed cash injection. It is directly funding the running of the Zoos, supporting the feeding and care for over 20,000 animals. It has also paid the frontline workers, who continue to care for the animals every day during this pandemic and beyond. Crucially, the donation from the Scheinberg Relief Fund provided the boost needed for ZSL’s fundraising appeal and has encouraged others to support them through this unprecedented time in their history and continue to create a world where wildlife thrives.