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State doesn't give monkey's about zoo's future funding

Dublin Zoo's new baby boy gorilla has failed to tug at government heartstrings -- the zoo has run out of State money and there are no plans to give it any more.

A five-year budget for the zoo, which initially provided €4m a year towards the cost of various projects, kicked in in 2006. This budget, which was later cut to €3m a year, was administered by the Office of Public Works (OPW). The budget finished last year.

"There is no provision for the OPW to allocate any further financial support to Dublin Zoo beyond the 2006-2010 programme," said a spokeswoman for the OPW.

The Department of Finance said that it would review all areas of public expenditure in the coming months. "The priority that might attach to, and the availability of further financial support for Dublin Zoo, will be considered in that context," said a spokeswoman for the department.

A cutback in the five-year budget a couple of years ago delayed a planned rainforest for its gorillas. The rainforest, which was expected to be in place by spring 2010, will be up and running this September, according to Leo Oosterweghel, the director of Dublin Zoo. It will cost €3.2m to build the rainforest.

Sunday Indo Business