It's not just humans suffering right now. The Toronto Zoo has admitted it needs help feeding its animals and is looking for donations from the public. The Zoo Food For Life campaign has officially kicked off and they're looking for financial help in order to ensure the animals are still being fed in line with their crucially important diets.
Entry and parking fees are generally used to pay for the animals' food expenses.
Of course, right now, the zoo is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And it's feeling the effects of no visitors and no income.
According to its website, it costs about $1,000,000 annually to maintain its animals' diets.
The current fundraising goal right now is a tenth of that sum, $100,000.
"The animals have very specialized diets and so it's not simply that we can go to the pet store and get food like that," Beth Gilhespy, Executive Director at the Toronto Zoo, told Narcity by phone.
"Diets are so specialized that the best way people can help is by making a donation to the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy Zoo Food for Life Campaign and then we can use that to buy the ingredients we need," she added.
The cost of food for the Zoo’s 5,000 animals is $1 million per year and is normally funded by parking and admission… https://t.co/Tkd9h7LEOS— The Toronto Zoo (@The Toronto Zoo) 1587045903.0
The establishment cares for over 5,000 animals and provides them with much-needed nourishment to keep them healthy.
Although it's been closed since mid-March, there still lies some uncertainty as to whether or not it will even be able to open back up anytime in the next few months.
Gilhespy shares with Narcity that the zoo may have to ramp up its financial goal depending on how long closures last for.
"All together we're looking to raise $100,000 but the reality is, depending on how long this lasts, we'll probably need more so we're trying to be realistic about our goal but also with an eye that we might have to jack it up a little bit," says Gilhespy.
Lately, the Toronto Zoo has definitely used social media to their advantage, showing their fans what the animals are doing now that there are no visitors.
Crows playing Connect Four and hippos face painting? The animals definitely know how to entertain, even when there's no crowd in sight.
But if you miss seeing them live in action (because we know we do), you can watch some live cam footage of gorillas or even penguins.
Others who are taking advantage of no visitors are the animals themselves, especially the tortoises who happen to take a stroll down to the gorilla enclosure and make friends.
In the meantime, whoever is willing to donate a few bucks to the cause can do so on the Toronto Zoo website.