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Belfast Zoo Local Councillor Calls For Belfast Zoo Closure

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by TeaLovingDave, 11 Nov 2015.

  1. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    A pair of articles have popped up online in recent days relating to the fact that Chris McGimpsey of the Ulster Unionist Party has called for Belfast Zoo to be closed, on both financial and ethical grounds.

    The latter point, which relates to the fact that McGimpsey believes all zoological collections should be closed and that Belfast Zoo perpetuates cruelty inherent to all zoos, can be safely dismissed as personal opinion. However, the former point is worthy of further discussion by ourselves - if Belfast Zoo is indeed running at a financial loss, how could this matter be reversed?

    The articles in question can be found here:

    Call for Belfast Zoo to close down - what do you think? - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

    Councillor vows to have Belfast Zoo handed over to Assembly control - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

    From my point of view, I suspect that part of the problem is that Belfast is shackled to the desires and directives of the local council - I would be very much surprised if there isn't a great deal of unneccesary expenditure deriving from having to jump through hoops to please the council and get a thumbs-up on every action before they can be put into play.
     
  2. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Like many a councilor (in my opinion) his viewpoint is egotistical, narrow-minded and extremely short-sighted -is he seriously proposing a well-run, excellent, zoo which is essentially the only amenity of it's type in the country should be closed down, thus leaving the country without a proper zoo?

    I'm unaware of the size of the shortfall so I'm not sure it would solve everything but creeping entrance fees up would certainly help. At present the adult entrance cost (including gift aid) is only £9.10 whilst the similar cost for a child (under 18) is a mere £4.30 -those amounts represent, by far, the best zoo bargain in the UK and accordingly are, arguably, ridiculously low.
     
  3. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Considering he states he would like *all* zoos to be closed down, yes :p

    As regards the size of the shortfall.....

     
  4. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Lazy me, should've read the article :eek:, that sort of shortfall should be doable -increase the entrance prices a quid and a half-ish and up the prices on concessions a little.

    Then again they might not need to, the councilor's views making the news might just bring in extra publicity, remind people of the place and cause an outpouring of support and increased visitors, which would be brilliantly ironic. :D
     
  5. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Nasty, ignorant little man. Gladly, the response in Belfast appears to be supportive of the zoo. Let's hope this cretinous fool gets his comeuppance at the ballot box.
     
  6. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    The entrance fees do seem to be rather cheap - it would be interesting to see how many visitors turned up each year and whether a few pence added to the entrance fee would pull back the deficit.As stated earlier I imagine being council run the ******** bureacracy is overwhelming. perhaps it could be sold on a long lease, perhaps it could go into partnership with another zoo.
     
  7. Paradoxurus

    Paradoxurus Well-Known Member

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    McGimpsey pulled a similar stunt about 10 years ago. Needless to add, after a bit of bluster in the local media, his calls were dismissed. There was overwhelming support for the zoo and, I seem to recall, he lost his seat in a following election.
     
  8. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

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    Be interesting to see how the Zoo world responds to this as Belfast Zoo is due to host 2016 EAZA conference :)
     
  9. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Belfast Zoo has seen a fall in attendance from its 302,000 visitors in 2009, although according to the link below the facility still ranks as one of the 10 most visited attractions in Northern Ireland. The total of 236,000 visitors in 2013 is very disappointing, especially considering that many British zoo enthusiasts rank the zoo quite highly. Usually whenever I study zoo and aquarium attendance numbers I find that those establishments are in the top 3 most visited attractions in their respective cities but Belfast is obviously not very popular at all. A true shame! In the Republic of Ireland there is Dublin Zoo and its one million annual visitors, #2 attraction in the nation after the Guiness Storehouse tour.

    file:///C:/Users/scott.richardson/Downloads/NISRA%20Annual%20Tourism%20Stats%202013%20-%20May%202014.pdf

    Excerpt from link:

    Table 6: Top 10 participating visitor attractions (excluding country parks/ parks/ forests/ gardens) in 2013:

    Visitor Numbers: 2011/2012/2013/% change

    1 Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site: 533 524 754 +44%
    2 Titanic Belfast: n/a 665 604 -9%
    3 Ulster Museum: 471 595 416 -30%
    4 Derry Walls: 278 281 411 +46%
    5 Murlough National Nature Reserve: n/a n/a 358 n/a
    6 W5 whowhatwherewhenwhy: 251 328 297 -9%
    7 Pickie Fun Park: n/a 245 275 +12%
    8 Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge: 243 276 263 -5%
    9 Belfast Zoological Gardens: 283 259 236 -9%
    10 Oxford Island National Nature Reserve: 319 197 210 +7%
     
  10. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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  11. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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