Fine Gael TD for Cork East Constituency, David Stanton, has raised the need for support from Government to enable Fota Wildlife Park to continue to remain a popular destination for local and foreign tourists in East Cork.
Zoos, wildlife parks and aquaria such as Fota Wildlife Park have seen a significant drop in income as a result of closures due to Covid-19 restrictions which have raised challenges in maintaining conservation and animal welfare activities. There are some 60 plus licensed zoos and aquaria in Ireland, from local open farms to national zoos and wildlife parks, which attract millions of visitors annually. In addition to the tourism benefits these attractions also provide vital support in the protection of biodiversity and conservation and increase public awareness of environmental issues.
Fota Wildlife Park attracted roughly 475,000 visitors to East Cork last year and further supports are vital in ensuring that the park remains viable. David Stanton has requested that additional supports for the park be strongly considered given the fact that it has remained closed for the majority of the year while maintenance costs continue to accumulate. The Taoiseach has positively acknowledged this representation.