India’s largest crocodile park on a financial crunch after lockdowns
CHENNAI (INDIA) – India’s largest crocodile park may have as little as four months, as it has been falling short of funds to feed animals, pay staff and do research. The ticket revenue has come down after coronavirus lockdowns restricted the flow of visitors, park officials said.
Sales of about 5 million tickets annually make up to at least half the revenue of the park. After a shut down in March, signs of a possible reopening has been bleak.
Allwin Jesudasan, the director of the Madras Crocodile Bank, said lockdowns during the summer vacation season have taken an estimated 14 million rupees ($187,000) even as visitors reduced by almost 2.5 million.
He told, “Our present funding situation will allow us to stay functional for another three or four months.”
It was started in 1976 by American-born snake expert Romulus Whitaker, who has made a name because of his conservation work.
The park said in an appeal for funds on its website, “Our senior staff have taken a voluntary 10% to 50% pay cut on their salaries and we have cut down our activities to just the critical ones.”
However, the future of its staff and animals is doubtful once they run out of funds.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.