Krinberg (dpa / lhe) - Lockdown and corona measures led to a decrease of more than 20 percent in visitors at the Opel Zoo last year.

"If we have 15 weeks out of 52, of course that has an impact," said zoo director Thomas Kauffels of the German press agency.

The lockdown last spring from mid-March to early May contributed in particular to this.

"April is one of the main months for visitors with the Easter holidays," said Kauffels.

The second lockdown in November, on the other hand, fell at a time of the year when there weren't exactly crowds of visitors anyway.

In summer, on the other hand, the influx of visitors was very positive: sometimes up to 3,500 to 3,800 people came in one day - although only 2,000 visitors were allowed to be in the zoo at the same time.

"We just had to count the entrance and the exit so that there were never more than 2000 people in the zoo."

However, visitors to the private zoo, which, unlike the Frankfurt Zoo, for example, does not receive any municipal funding, had to pay one euro less entry fee in the summer.

“With 320,000 visitors, that's 320,000 euros less, but up to twelve people were distributed as additional security personnel in the company,” Kauffels calculated.

That was huge additional costs.

After all: «We had no toilet paper theft.

But at the time when toilet paper was stashed everywhere, we were closed anyway. "


There have been a good number of donations, especially for animal sponsorships.

However, in normal years it is the entrance fees that make up 85 percent of the zoo's income - and the zoo continues to run with the same costs even in lockdown.

There isn't much potential for savings - "The only thing you can do is postpone investments."

So this year the building application for the planned rhino facility will certainly not be submitted, said Kauffels.