Minister Malcolm Noonan has met with the directors of Dublin Zoo and Fota Wildlife Park as well as the director of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) a number of weeks ago to assess the scale of the challenges faced by our zoos and aquariums and what funding was required.
Minister Noonan is also reaching out to The National Reptile Zoo and is hopeful that he will be able to offer them help in coping with the funding crisis caused by Covid-19.
"To that end I am hopeful that my department will be able to offer short term financial support to help tide the two main zoos past this immediate challenge. I have also raised the matter with An Taoiseach and the Public Expenditure Minister McGrath.
"Ultimately I think a broader support package is required but the outflow of public goodwill in terms of donations is testament to the high regard that these places have in our public consciousness. The loss of Dublin or Fota is unthinkable.
"We recognise too the important conservation work they do with not just international endangered species through shared breeding programmes with other zoos but with the conservation of irish species such as the natterjack toad; Irelands only indigenous species of toad.
"We want our zoos to bustle with the sound of families again, making lifetime memories for children and also playing that key role in conserving global biodiversity. I am hopeful we can assist in making that happen."
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