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Nicaraguans visit zoo en masse after call for help

August 14, 2018

Hundreds of Nicaraguans visited the national zoo, located on the highway between Managua and Masaya, to help cover costs and guarantee food more than 400 animals this Sunday.

The mass visit came after the zoo’s administrators released a public call for help.

This is the second weekend that Nicaraguans heeded their call. At least 3,000 people visited the zoo last Saturday and Sunday, zoo administrators said. They hope they surpassed that figure this Sunday.

The zoo had been closed for two months due to a lack of visitors caused by the country’s sociopolitical crisis that started on April 18. It then reopened its doors about a month ago.

The cost of admission

Admission price for the national zoo is 30 córdobas (about $1) and there’s an additional 20 córdobas ($0.60) fee to enter the butterfly farm. There’s no fee for hildren under 2. The doors open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.

People who want to donate food to the animals can bring chicken and horse feed, corn flour, watermelons, papayas, bananas, and carrots.

Annual budget of 12 million córdobas

Marina Argüello, director of the national zoo, said the zoo needs approximately 12.5 million córdobas ($390,000) a year to operate. Argüello says they operate on a deficit of 8.5 million córdobas ($265,000) since the Nicaraguan National Assembly only provides them with 4 million córdobas ($125,000).

“Every year I have to ask them not to take away our budget, to keep it the same or increase it,” Argüello said. She also noted that the budget for the zoo animals hadn’t been cut.


Read the original story in Spanish at La Prensa, first published on Aug. 13, 2018.

This story was translated into English and republished in The Tico Times as part of a partnership with La Prensa to help bring their coverage of the Nicaraguan crisis to an English-speaking audience.

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