BOLTON (CBS) — Tucked away in Bolton, hundreds of exotic animals call Animal Adventures home. And with the coronavirus keeping their owner from earning money, the animal rescue is in trouble.
Ed Laquidara, owner Animal Adventures, turned what was his original home on Sugar Road into a menagerie for inured, sick or unwanted animals that cannot be released into the wild.
“He was dropped off (pointing to a large cat) and he was very, very much underweight — like skin and bones,” Laquidara said.
The animals arrive from places like closed zoos, breeders and pet owners. They simply have nowhere else to go.
There are 400 animals at the rescue, of which Tiko, a kangaroo, is one. It costs at least $3000 a day just to maintain.
“It’s getting to the point of ‘How are we going to feed them day to day?’” Laquidara said.
Laquidara supports Animal Adventures mostly through travelling animal lectures and school presentations, often at universities. Because of the coronavirus, those bookings have been cancelled.
“We’re down just over $50,000.” Laquidara said. “For sole proprietors, which is how I run what this is, there is no help.”
He’s had to let go almost all of his staff, and needs to spend 16 hours a day taking care of his herd.
Small groups, like a family who scheduled a tour on Friday, are still allowed to visit. Laquidara hopes people pre-pay and book for later dates or make a donation.
“I don’t like to beg people for money. I’d much rather be a position where I can give money,” he said.
Even so, Laquidara said it’s a desperate time for everyone at Animal Adventures.
“As much as they need me, I would be lost without them,” he said.
To donate to Animal Adventures, visit the rescue’s GoFundMe page.