London Zoo gorillas enjoy Veganuary as pandemic lockdown hits finances

London Zoo revealed its eye-watering monthly vegetable bill and how it’s facing financial pressures from the pandemic. 

Each month the zoo spends £22,000 on vegetables to feed its animals, which includes 3,000 cucumbers and 500 boxes of sweet potatoes. 

Gorilla tucks into veggie breakfast. Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Gorilla’s Veganuary

To keep spirits high and inspire those doing Veganuary, zookeepers revealed the gorillas’ veggie diet.

The zoo has four critically endangered Western lowland gorillas, mothers Effie and Mjukuu, and youngsters Alika and Gernot.

Each day the gorillas eat up to 14kg of fresh veggie delights from Covent Garden Market.

The daily menu for gorillas at London Zoo

Whilst doors remain closed to the public, zookeepers continue to look after the animals and hope to spread some cheer.

Zookeeper, Glynn Hennessy said: “Veganuary is drawing to a close and we thought that our gorillas tucking into handfuls of colourful, healthy veg would be the perfect inspiration for anyone finding these last few days a bit of a struggle.”

He added that the gorilla troop enjoys their vegetables raw or lightly steamed and holds the warm veggies in their hands, just like we hold our hot drinks! 

Zookeeper Glynn Hennessy prepares breakfast for the gorillas. Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Financial impact

The zoo relies heavily on funds from vital ticket sales, particularly during peak holidays like Easter, but with the multiple national lockdowns the financial impact is being felt. 

ZSL London Zoo’s chief operating officer, Kathryn England said: “While our fixed costs remained unchanged – it costs one million a month just to feed and care for the 20,000 animals at our two zoos.”

The zoo is currently appealing for public donations to help support funds and its conservation efforts through buying tasty treats for its animals.

Featured image credit: ZSL London Zoo

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