Zoos, aquariums, farms, rescue centres, and other animal centres might be closed to the public because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but the animals still need to be fed and cared for by staff every single day. These centres rely on visitor admissions, donations, and supporters to help keep them running, and to pay for the daily costs of feeding and caring for the animals who live there. This money also goes towards conservation projects, education initiatives, and research facilities. The Coronavirus crisis will put all of these animal centres under strain, and without access to regular income from visitors and supporters these centres will struggle.
That is why I am writing this post!
How YOU can help to support your local animals!
Make a Donation
We are living in uncertain times, and while this seems like an obvious solution, not everyone has the funds to help. If you do have the means, search your local animal centre’s website for a donate button and help them out! Every donation counts, whether you are helping to feed one Meerkat or a whole herd of Elephants!!
For example, click here to make a donation to The Lothian Cat Rescue.
Buy Tickets for the Future or a Gift Card
Most zoos, and animal centres that you can visit allow you to buy tickets online. Buy some! You get to look forward to a trip in the future when restrictions are lifted, and the centre benefits from the income they need now. Alternatively, buy a gift card for a loved one as a special gift to keep in touch during Lockdown.
For example, buy your advance tickets for Deep Sea World here.
Buy a Membership
Similar to the above, memberships are a great way to support your local animal centre by buying now and enjoying later. You will get access to exclusive offers, cool freebies and discounts, and you can visit as much as you like, depending on what your local centre offers. At the moment, most centres are extending the eligibility of their memberships so you can use them to their fullest when Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
For example, buy an Edinburgh Zoo Membership here.
Book an Experience
Like with the above options, this is another chance for you to have something to look forward to in the future! Most animal centres offer experiences as a part of their programming, and you can help them out by booking on to one of those experiences now.
For example, book The Little Animal Experience at Gorgie Farm here.
Adopt an Animal
Adopting animals is a great way to make a donation to animal centres while having your own link to the animals there. This can be a great option for kids to help them learn more about their favourite species. In most cases, you will also receive an adoption pack as part of your donation and they are full of fun and interesting resources about your chosen animal. This can also be a really great way to boost your mental health, as you can plan to visit “your animal” in the future at the centre when restrictions are lifted.
For example, adopt an animal at Blair Drummond Safari Park.
Buy a Wishlist Item
A lot of centres have wishlists that you can buy essential items that are sent directly to the animal centre. This is a great option for seeing exactly where your money is being used, and there is usually a good variety for all budgets.
For example, donate items from the Five Sisters Zoo Wishlist.
Donate Old Items
If you are lacking finances for the above options, but still want to help, you can donate old or unused items to your local animal centre. This is perfect for recycling your old items for good, and can really help out your local animals. When Bailey passed away, we donated his old bed and food bowls to a local rescue centre. Be mindful, due to the pandemic, that the rules surrounding item donations may have changed for your local centre, and you need to stick to the Lockdown restrictions of your local government when dropping off your donations.
For example, donate items to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.
Follow them on Social Media
It might sound like an odd one, but boosting their social media signals can really help your local animal centre’s get their message out to more people. This will lead to more visitors in the future, and hopefully more donations too! + you will get to enjoy loads of cute animal content!!
For example, Like Fife Zoo on Facebook here.
Watch their YouTube Videos
Another great way to help out if you are unable to spend money is to simply watch some awesome animal content! A lot of animal centres have YouTube accounts, and watching their videos can really help bring them support through ad-revenue. Most centres also have animal cams and live-streams that you can watch to keep up to date on your favourite animals. Not only does this help out the animals by boosting the views of the spread of the websites, etc. but your mental health will receive a significant boost too!!
For example, watch the animals at Chester Zoo here.
Make use of Educational Resources
A lot of animal centres have fantastic educational resources on their website. Like with the above, increasing traffic to your local centre’s website is a great way to support them for free. You can enjoying learning new information about your favourite flora and fauna, and this can be a fantastic resource for helping to inspire a love of conservation in your kids while they are stuck at home!
For example, read botanical stories on the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh blog.
Support Local Initiatives
Zoos, aquariums, farms, and other animal centres will all have their own unique ways of funding themselves during this crisis. Browse your local centre’s websites and social media accounts to see what they are up to and how you can help!
For example, Five Sisters Zoo is selling plants to raise the money, you can check this out here.
I hope this has inspired you to help out your local animals, hopefully while putting your Lockdown time to good use by learning more about your favourite animals!
As you might have noticed, all of the example links that I used are for my local, and favourite, animal centres. I used these as examples to hopefully help out my own local animals, and because they are examples of what I am personally doing to support animals where I can.
Share with me in the comments below what you are doing to help out your local animal centres.
Fluffy Jellyfish out.