27 Sep 2020

Covid impact: Auckland Zoo receives almost $3m from government

2:24 pm on 27 September 2020

Nearly $9.5 million has been given out to struggling wildlife centres as part of the government's Covid-19 response.

An orangutan at Auckland Zoo's new immersive primate habitat.

An orangutan at Auckland Zoo's new immersive primate habitat. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Zoo

The Minister of Conservation announced the fund last month to support facilities dealing with reduced revenue and visitor numbers.

Twenty-eight of the 33 institutions that applied for assistance have been granted funding, which is being allocated by the Department of Conservation.

Auckland Zoo has received $2,890,000 and Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park has been granted $1 million.

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A silverback gorilla at Orana Wildlife Park. Photo: Kim Free @ Orana Wildlife Park

Other facilities received between $14,000 and $700,000 each.

Two centres withdrew their applications, while one was declined for not meeting the criteria.

The funding is to be used for the recovery of native and threatened species.

Earlier this year Orana Wildlife Park was forced to launch a Givealittle page to try and raise money to pay for food, habitat maintenance, heating and vet bills during lockdown.

Park director Lynn Anderson told RNZ care of the park's 400 animals cost about $70,000 a week.

More than 2200 people donated to the appeal.

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