Bioparco di Roma sounds alarm as Italy bans school trips.
Rome's zoo says it is in "serious difficulty" and risks closure due to a 60 per cent drop in visitor numbers as a result of the covid-19 emergency, reports Italian news agency ANSA.
Stating that it has lost its foreign visitors as well as those from outside the Lazio region, the Bioparco di Roma has appealed for help from the city which owns 51 per cent of the zoo.
Bioparco authorities say the zoo was already in financial difficulty but that the coronavirus pandemic is now pushing it to the brink of closure.
Italy's recent decree banning school trips has put the zoo under additional pressure, says its director Francesco Petretti.
The Bioparco stated on its Facebook page: "Our mission has always been to protect Nature, preserving it, studying it and sharing knowledge with all of you. To continue taking care of our animals while fulfilling our mission, your support, right now, is even more important!"
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Covid-19: Rome zoo risks closure as visitor numbers plummet
V.le del Giardino Zoologico, 1, 00197 Roma RM, Italy