Finland’s second-largest zoo, Ähtäri Zoo has run into financial difficulties and due to the high maintenance cost of one million euros per year for the zoo’s two Chinese Pandas, they may have to be returned to China, Ähtäri city’s Mayor says.
Local media YLE writes that Ähtäri Zoo loaned the two giant pandas named Lumi and Pyry from China in 2018 but pandemic-related restrictions saw a drop in visitors last year which has the 60-hectare city-owned zoo facing financial troubles.
According to the zoo, they were promised 1.5 million euros in pandemic support by the Finnish state last year but say it only received 200,000 euros from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in July this year.
The two giant Chinese have become public favorites but according to the Mayor of the town of Ähtäri, Jarmo Pienimäki, the zoo’s financial situation is serious. The lack of state support is not the only reason, but it is crucial in regard to the pandas’ situation, he says to YLE and adds that they must decide the fate of the two giant Chinese pandas by next summer.