‘I’ve been pushed to my absolute breaking point;’ Canadian zoos struggle to survive
Last week, Paul Goulet’s 10-year-old daughter quietly went to his wife with worry about her father.
“It’s like he’s here, but he’s not really here,” she said.
That nearly broke Goulet, the owner of Little Ray’s Nature Centre, a zoo and animal rescue organization with locations in Hamilton and Ottawa.
Usually an eternal optimist, Goulet said the pandemic is killing his business and wearing him down.
He’s cut costs where he can, but the vast majority of his costs are fixed — the snakes, sloths and tortoises still have to eat.
Gross revenue is down 94 per cent, he said, due to the forced closures and capacity limits during the pandemic, and he’s taken out loans totaling more than $900,000 to help pay the bills.
“I’ve been pushed to my absolute breaking point,”…