“The enormous support is great”

Ouwehands Zoo is 88 years old. Until last year we were open almost every day. Now we have been closed for almost 17 weeks in three lockdowns,” says Robin de Lange, director of the zoo in Rhenen. “But people support us and the animals enormously through donations. That is really great to see.”

The closure of the zoo has hit us hard, De Lange continues. “The animals just have to be cared for and fed. That costs us 500,000 euros per month.” But no guests means no income. “Last summer, we drew up a very strict protocol in consultation with the local authorities, so that we could open safely. Guests could book a time slot online, we had made special walking routes so that it would not be too crowdy on the paths. Although fewer people could visit the zoo, at least they could come. Unfortunately, that has not been possible for a while now.”

“We know people definitely want to come to the zoo; just a day out and watch the animals. And this is also important for the animals. Normally it is full of people there. Now it even sometimes shocks the animals when the zookeeper comes around the corner.”

The enormous support is great

In order to generate revenue, Ouwehands started to search for new income opportunities, such as an early subscription renewal or the adoption of an animal. “We have also started a donation campaign. The news that Artis has to let go of three of its lions has hit many people hard, including our guests. So when we asked them to make a donation, a lot of people did.”

Donate using a QR-code

People can make a donation using a QR code. The QR code is on the website. “We have also placed a QR code in our newsletter.” The QR code leads to a PayByLink donation link, where people can make a donation via iDEAL, credit card or other payment method instead of a bank transfer. In the background the donations are processed per order, so that you get meaningful donation reports. Another advantage of this unique donation link is that you can set the validity of the link. This makes it easy to place the QR codes in newsletters.”

Hope for the future

“We are really very happy and honored with all the donations, but of course we would prefer to be able to receive our guests in the zoo,” says De Lange. “I therefore hope that it will be possible soon. But we can’t say anything about it. We have to wait for the press conferences of the government. Until then, we will continue to do everything to keep our animals healthy. Because that is the most important thing to do.”

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