April 17, 2020 - 17:47 AMT
German zoo may have to feed animals to each other

Neumünster Zoo in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, has drawn up a slaughter list of its animals as part of its coronavirus emergency plan, Deutsche Welle reports.

"Yes, we do have a list of animals that we would have to slaughter first," said Verena Kaspari, director of Neumünster Zoo, confirming initial reports in German media. The animals on the list would be fed to the zoo's lynx, eagles and "Germany's biggest polar bear" Vitus, who is 3.6 meters (over 11 ft) tall.

Goats and deer are on the slaughter list "but none of the endangered animals," Kaspari explained. "It's a worst-case scenario, we don't see it getting that way yet, but we have to think of it early enough."

A worst-case scenario would be if the delivery of fish and meat was no longer possible, because of a shortage of funds.

All zoos across Germany are closed as part of government measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The measures forced Neumünster Zoo to close on March 15.

Neumünster Zoo is a small zoo with over 700 animals including arctic foxes, maned wolves and seals, as well as Vitus. If the zoo is allowed to re-open at the end of April — if restrictions are relaxed then – Kaspari estimates it will have lost €175,000 ($191,000) in ticket sales and donations.