An association of Flemish zoos is currently looking into a new home for the 200 exhibitions formerly housed in Belgium’s only reptile zoo.
ZOO Serpentarium in Blankenberge, which began in 1998 from the private collection of passionate animal lover Marnick Croes, will officially close this month after struggling with mounting costs for the past year.
“Income fell away completely and the high fixed costs continued. In addition to the rent for the building, some hefty investments in the areas of the environment and safety were planned. This situation was no longer tenable. The decision was taken with pain in the heart, but it was necessary.” Four permanent staff members will lose their jobs.
The long compulsory closure by Corona, continuing high fixed costs, a challenging infrastructure and an uncertain future led management – KMDA (Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp) – to close it down permanently.
“We did not take this decision lightly,” explained general director Dries Herpoelaert. “Animal welfare always comes first. Despite all efforts, the situation was no longer tenable.”
KMDA is now looking for a new home for the reptiles, with many expected to move to other zoos in the region that can accommodate them.
“In order to guarantee their welfare in the future as well, we look for a decent new home. Some of the 200 animals will be housed in both ZOO Antwerp and ZOO Planckendael.” Experts from ZOO Antwerpen will make sure the reptiles move smoothly.