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Financial Aspects

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by takeo1712, 25 May 2015.

  1. takeo1712

    takeo1712 New Member

    25 May 2015
    My name is takeo, i live in europe and recently won in the lottery around 500.000 Euro.

    Thus i was considering to, after university, start a company with it, and since i love animals, i was considering if it is possible to start a small kind of animal farm - zoo with that amount of cash, either in germany, US, australia or japan.

    However, if i was to start something like it, i would want to have large cages for the animals, - since my major idea would not be to "show" animals, but to breed them to release them into the wild/adopt troubled animals.

    Thus i thought about an area of around at least 5 square kilometers for it, which already counts germany and japan out as place - however i think there is land of that size for sale in some parts of US and Canada for around 200-300.000 dollars, leaving me around 200.000 left.

    However, i got quite no idea of how expensive cages e.g would be - provided i would build them myself with volunteers. The animals themself i would mainly hope to get from zoos or pet keepers, that got trouble with their pets.

    The zoo should contain an reptilian area/house, a cat "forrest" (large cage of at least 1 square kilometers for "large" predetory cats, as well as an 2 square kilometers "children´s zoo" with wandering paths, tame rabbits, deers, and foxes (i know the foxes will eat the rabbits, i dont see that an issue though.).

    I guess that alone will be quite expensive, beforeahead i would anyway do want to work with big cats in africa to learn how to handle them.

    The cats i would like to try to breed would be bengal tigers and black panthers.

    Further more, i would want to keep some crocodilians in large, natural ponds, as well as tanks. The crocodilians i would want to breed are the Gavialis gangeticus as well as the african dwarf crocodile/australian crocodile (the small one).

    Also, i would want to keep reticulated python (i already got one, however i would want to give it large enclosure/rainforrest like tank), as well as the amythist python/ african rock python and burmese python.

    Eventually i would want to keep several kinds of birds in an aviary, including hawks, the little owl, and last but not least rescue some parrots.

    Thats basically it. I estimated the total costs in germany around 3-4 Million Euros, which is around, way to much, so i wonder, is there an slightly developed place in the world, where i could manage to realize this project with just the amount of money i have?

    I got experience handling dangerous animals (i got my first retics when i was a teen, and had a lot of snakes, handled crocodiles (but not owned them), got some parrots. The only animals that would be a "real" challenge would be the big cats.

    I would also consider starting off with "just" crocodile´s and snakes, however i am quite positive, that if i would do that, nobody would actually visit, because crocodiles and snakes are not that rare, and i need to feed the animals somehow. Of course i thought of an pig-farm, but that again costs more money..

    Quite a challenge.. i hope someone has some tips.

    Another idea i had was to start off with an "reptilian zoo & restaurant" - that actually would be somewhat even more interesting to me/my "real" big dream, but realization would be even far more expensive i guess, since than i would have to actually build an entire building in an urban area, probably amounting to millions of millions of cash, since i got high standarts for cages.

    I was considering something like this: [snip - Chlidonias] , just with a restaurant inmidst of it, where the customers would be able to watch down into a pond with crocs & see parrots flying around freely.

    Of course i would be worried about the parrots getting eaten by the crocs, but i guess the parrots are not that stupid to actually go into the pond with crocs. Furthermore i was wondering if there would even be customers, since i would want to have tropical climate in it, like for instance in borneo (that alone might cost around 100k.. i guess) - so yea.. guess the first option is better suited for me. But still, are there options to acquire capital for such an venture? Or does anyone have similar plans and cash to "invest" into an jointventure?

    Regards, Takeo
    Last edited by a moderator: 25 May 2015
  2. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

    5 Jul 2008
    Dundee, Scotland (UK)
    Hi Takeo,
    Welcome to zoochat, and many congratulations on your win!
    It's nice to see some ambitious plans with some starting cash behind them.
    I don't think costs in the US will be much better than in Europe (don't forget the costs of moving and then living there).
    It's important to take running costs into account too. Although I view the ambition as a good thing, if there aren't further funds then one of the skills will be in keeping the attraction quite small but nicely done.
    It's likely that somewhere outside Europe/North America might be cheaper - if it's a rescue centre, it might be easiest to focus on native species. There are many struggling rescue centres around the world - it might be easiest to take over running one of these, although costs would be very high.
    FrontPageAfrica - New York Blood Center Leaves Liberia?s Chimps to Starvation
    Definitely keep us posted.
    Good luck!
  3. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    23 Jan 2008
    New York, USA
    Your image of "something like this" is in South Korea and cost many millions (no matter what currency you want to discuss!)

    Decide whether your plan is for a nice collection for yourself or a major destination for visiting public. Not every location where land purchase and construction are affordable are good sites for a popular destination that will require millions of annual visitors.

    If this is for the public then decide what sort of business you want to run... every day... day after day. Very animal centered or a restaurant? They are rather different businesses
  4. takeo1712

    takeo1712 New Member

    25 May 2015
    well, most important for me actually are crocodile & reticulated python, which i could actually obviously afford sufficient shelter if i was to do it for my own only, but as zooplantman indicated, who wants to visit a "zoo" with just two animals.

    Millions of millions however, i think is a bit overexaggerated, at my high times, when i was still into breeding, i had around 24 snakes in large tanks (so not "american style breeding" but with 12 different, "large" tanks between 2 and 4 meters long, and it overall had cost me around 10.000 Euro´s (without the snakes, that were in total around 50.000, since i had quite a bunch of rare specimen, and most of them were "gifts" from the community/i often took animals that were about to die and just "tried" to make them survive.

    So a snake zoo as startup might be an option maybe - however one where animals are actually kept in natural like habitat, since most reptile zoos i know of are rather.. lets say "simple" when it comes to the animal´s enclosures.

    My family has some houses, they rent to people, some of which are quite big (5 floors, rental), so i could probably one day take one of those over and do something like a reptile zoo within them, which would in fact most likely work out place wise as well, since it could very well handle around 500-600 tanks, which might be enough to attract some visitors, if the entrance price is low and there were special attractions, but i think its out of question since all the property is in rather small towns with 100.000 (old) inhabitants at best, and far away from larger citys so if someone from, lets say hamburg, would want to visit, he / she would need to drive around 4 hours to reach this rather rural area.. so i think its out of question unfortuntaly.

    Biggest problem for me really is the land, since if i had some large land, i could do lots of things, like building cages, e.g - myself.

    Maybe starting up with an "childrens" zoo would be a better idea, just rabbits, goats, very tame foxes, owls, hawks and parrots.. i guess that was to be possible with just my money.. but i fear that getting anything financial out of it might be very very unlikely...
    would need to do it close to large city i guess.