Mobile zoo operators Jamie and Kim Lind are trying to find a balance between putting food on the table for their family, and feeding their animals.
It's been more than six months since the mobile zoo has operated and brought in any income.
Mr Lind said he was providing for the animals whilst receiving JobKeeper.
"JobKeeper really only helped provide for my family, not to care for the animals," he said.
"We started a Go Fund Me page but didn't touch it once JobKeeper kicked in.
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"I'm still eligible for JobKeeper but the amount has dropped significantly.
"We're about 50% short of our income compared to the cost of living for both our family and the zoo."
On Friday, the Victorian government announced animal exhibitors who have been impacted by coronavirus restrictions would get help to cover the costs of food and care for their animals.
Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes announced a $1 million support package that will help animal exhibitors such as mobile petting zoos and travelling reptile exhibitors to ensure their animals are looked after while their businesses remain unable to operate.
The Support Package for Animal Exhibitors will provide funding to purchase feed and to cover the specialised costs associated with housing and caring for exhibit animals.
Mr Lind said he welcomed the funding has come too late and was concerned about eligibility.
"I've set up some deals where I do some in-kind work to get food cheaper for the animals," he said.
"This could come back to bite me because I will have to prove what I spend.
"We've had to find ways to cut costs while still maintaining my high standard of care for the animals."
Mr Lind, who has supported the Ararat community with fundraisers for families and the like, said he was grateful of the community support he had received.
"Some businesses have been so generous towards us," he said.
"Harris Automotive waived a bill for us - they understood we were in tough times. For a business to help out when they could be suffering down the track is really humbling.
"Ararat Church of Christ paid an invoice for a job we couldn't attend because the event was cancelled."
Selling or giving away the animals isn't an option in Mr Lind's eyes - who while having no work has picked up casual jobs around the region.
"Who was going to take the animals? Everyone is in the same boat in the industry," he said.
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"We didn't qualify for any grants which were released for zoos because we are mobile.
"It baffled me because it's the same licensing system."
Mr Lind has worked with reptiles for over 20 years and had previously boosted his income as the local 'snake catcher'.
"I've had to give that up," he said.
"One, because of the licence fees and two, more importantly because of the bite I received last year."
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