Zoos in Japan are increasingly using the Wish List feature on Amazon’s shopping website to ensure that donations better suit their needs.
Operators of the facilities expect the move to help them avoid waste. Many zoos are experiencing financial difficulties due to reduced revenues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The list is particularly helpful because items used by zoos need to meet strict requirements to ensure animal safety. Goods that do not meet the requirements cannot be used even if they are donated.
In the Wish List system, donors can make purchases of items listed by zoos and have the goods delivered to them, ensuring that only necessary items are donated.
Kujukushima Zoo & Botanical Garden in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, started using the Wish List in 2019, after learning that the practice was taking place overseas.
“We can provide animals with things that we may otherwise hesitate to purchase within a limited budget,” Chikako Iwaoka, director of Kujukushima Zoo, said.
Kyoto City Zoo used the Wish List for the first time in June, asking for donations of six items such as towers for meerkats to exercise on and fans for cavies.
Of the six items, four were purchased in the first two hours and all were purchased by the next day. All items have arrived at the zoo.
“I was surprised that they were bought so quickly,” Seitaro Wada, deputy director of the Kyoto City Zoo, said.
“By using an existing system, we can get started without any administrative burdens… .There is no waste if donors send us what we need,” Wada added.
The zoo needs to review its annual expenditures of some ¥60 million for animal feed due to the city of Kyoto experiencing financial difficulties. The zoo hopes to add feed to its Wish List in the future.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.