Tasmania Zoo has launched a fundraising campaign and made an urgent plea for assistance, as it grapples with a complete loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time in its 17-year history the family owned zoo was forced to close its doors last week.
However staff, many who are now volunteering, remain on site caring for the more than 1500 animals every day.
Coronavirus: All the latest updates on COVID-19 for Tasmania
With its income funded purely by visitors, owner Rochelle Penney said its future was looking very uncertain.
"We just need help, because we are still here every day working away," she said.
"Having so many exotic breeds, a lot of our costs comes from those specialty feeds. That's the biggest cost, along with vets and medications.
"I know everyone' story is different and we are all in difficult situations, but for us it's not a matter of closing the door and the costs end.
"Our costs are still exactly the same, just without the income."
IN OTHER NEWS:
The zoo have established a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $20,000.
Ms Penney said she couldn't bear to think about what might happen to the animals if they could no longer support them.
"Every zoo in Australia is in the same position - it's unprecedented," she said.
"I'd say without any help we probably have a month left in us.
"We are never closed. We never expected something like this."
Tasmania Zoo is the only animal welfare accredited zoo in the state, participating in species management programs for the Sumatran tiger, cheetah, African painted dog, white-cheeked gibbon, golden lion tamarin and many more.
Its Devil's Heaven conservation program has also been home to a successful breeding population of Eastern Province Tasmanian Devils for more than 15 years.
Ms Penney said all donations received would go towards the cost of treatments, medications and food for the zoo's animals.
"We realise this is a very tough time for everyone worldwide, both mentally and financially," she said.
"If you are able, please help us to ensure our doors reopen. Any donation big or small will help. If donations exceed requirements, we will direct excess into our conservation projects."
The zoo's GoFundMe page can be found here.
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.