Chester Zoo appeals for support as closure looms

Chester Zoo is one of them places where everyone has visited and enjoyed the experience of seeing all the animals and other attractions on the site.

The UK government has though changed legislation meaning that at one time the zoo was set to reopen, with other ticketed attractions they must stay closed for the time being.

It costs £1.6m a month to keep the zoo operating, so far the zoo has lost £5m and it could be as much as £24.5m in the red by the end of this year, although the zoo gets some funding to make sure all the animals are looked after at the zoo it is nowhere near enough for it to survive.

Funding to plug the huge gap each month is needed and Chester Zoo have published an appeal for people to help them out whilst they are closed.

This is our biggest zoo, our best place to see wildlife, to learn and to research, it is a place where animals that are becoming extinct in this ever changing world are looked after, a place for the entire family to have a great day out, we cannot ever lose this attraction.

The zoo does much more than just look after the animals, it helps boost the local economy, it has in recent times done lots of campaigning more so to protect trees from being cut down to make palm oil.

They are currently involved with 80 projects fighting to prevent highly extinct species of animals all around the world and including the UK

Politicians have written to the Secretary of State for Environmental , Food and Rural Affairs asking for a reconsideration on the reopening of zoos as a priority.

Jamie Christon, the zoo’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) said:  
“As the UK’s biggest and most popular charity zoo, we’ve tried to stay positive during this pandemic. Our conservationists have continued to prevent extinction, our virtual days have cheered up the nation, and our learning resources have helped out thousands of home schooling families. We wanted to remain a beacon of hope.   
“But now, the government has ordered us to stay closed indefinitely and Chester Zoo is very much fighting for its future. This change in law has flicked a switch for us and, heartbreakingly, our lights are now flickering. Not being able to open, despite being a huge outdoor site with all the necessary safety measures in place, is having a devastating impact of the future survival of this much-loved charity zoo. We’re heading towards debt in excess of £24m by the end of 2020 – this will financially cripple us. 
“We absolutely refuse to cut corners when it comes to caring for the animals. But ensuring that each and every one of the 35,000 animals at the zoo is receiving the best possible care, every single day, comes at a huge financial cost. Not being able to open, with such massive outgoings, puts the future of the zoo itself at risk of extinction.”  
Chester Zoo, the most visited zoo in the UK with more than two million people passing through its gates in 2019, is a registered conservation and education charity. 
To highlight its readiness for reopening and its ability to keep people safe, the zoo has already put in place measures to ensure that its 128 acres of outdoor space is ‘Covid secure.’ 
Mr Christon continued:  
“While we see pictures of public beaches, parks and UK beauty spots busy with people, our zoo – a huge outdoor space, with 16km of pathways, and numerous measures in place to ensure that we can provide a safe environment for guests – sits empty.  
“We plan to heavily limit visitor numbers, we’ve installed self-scanning ticket lanes, floor markings, one-way systems, multiple cleaning and hand sanitisation points, a huge amount of signage and protective screens in all of our key locations and service areas. We’ve also trained staff to ensure that social distancing rules are followed at all times. People will be safer here than in public spaces, as we know can manage numbers and social distancing.  
“Much smaller, private gardens are opening up this week, which is positive as the great outdoors is proven to offer benefits to mental health and wellbeing. However, we and our 128 acres of gardens have to remain closed. It’s possible we’ll be given permission to open our indoor retail shop later this month, but not our massive outdoor site. While we support the need to carefully lift the lockdown, we’re under enormous financial pressure and these things don’t stack up.”    

You can support Chester Zoo by clicking https://www.chesterzoo.org/support-us/

Categories: Uncategorized