Waterleiding Maatschappij Drenthe (WMD) is considering cutting ties with the Wildlands animal park in Emmen.
Translation by Traci White
UPDATE: 10:58 a.m., Friday, 4 January
Annemoreen Ooms, a representative for WMD, has told RTV Drenthe that the organisation does not have any immediate plans to severe ties with the animal park. Ooms says the company experienced a nearly 13 million euro loss due to business activities in Indonesia, which has prompted the company to re-evaluate and refocus on its core task of providing clean drinking water in Drenthe. At Wildlands, WMD operates a facility to recycle the water used in the park, among other utility and facility services. According to Ooms, the park’s own financial performance will not be a factor in their ultimate decision.
Original story follows below:
The financial risks for the Drenthe water company to remain involved with Wildlands are significant, according to the Dagblad van het Noorden. If WMD were to cease providing services to Wildlands, it would present yet another setback to the tune of millions of euros for the attraction.
Wildlands is still struggling to keep its head above water, financially-speaking: due to lacklustre visitor numbers, the park is expected to have operated at a loss of 8 million euros in 2018. The exact annual figures are not yet available.
In November, the company requested a payment deferral from their financiers, which they were granted. The park will not have to make any payments until at least 1 May. The WMD, which is one of the companies which has invested money into the park, stands to lose millions of euros as a result. That loss would need to be covered by taxpayers in Drenthe.
The other important financiers of the park are the municipality of Emmen, VolkerWessels and Rabobank. Currently, the partners are set to re-evaluate the measures the park has taken in recent months in April. Wildlands will be lowering ticket prices, firing up to 15 employees, adding more animals and walking routes.