Saigon zoo survives on supporters in pandemic

By Gia Minh   April 27, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
Saigon zoo survives on supporters in pandemic
Visitors at the Saigon zoo in HCMC's District 1 on November 5, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden in HCMC has received over VND26 billion ($1.13 million) from the city and supporters, saving it from suffering losses.

Under the Covid-19 impact, the zoo in downtown HCMC must shut down for over six months last year.

Without visitors amid strict lockdowns, the zoo reported VND45 billion of revenue last year, down 36 percent against 2020, and suffering loss of VND17 billion.

However, as the zoo, a popular tourist destination, had called for financial aid last year, saying it needed funds to feed the animals there, it had received a total VND13.5 billion from supporters after many Saigonese had shared the zoo's bank account number on social media to call on the public to help it overcome its financial difficulties.

In addition to that sum, the zoo was funded VND13 billion of the city’s budget to maintain its operation.

As a result, it gained VND550 million of after-tax profit last year.

Built in 1864, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest zoos in the world. It is self-financed, with all funding drawn from ticket sales.

The zoo is home to over 1,300 animals, including rare species and 2,500 trees.

After the outbreak in HCMC is put under control, the zoo was reopened to welcome visitors last November.

On the New Year Holiday of Jan. 1 and 2, the zoo received 36,000 visitors, twice more than on normal days.

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