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Chester Zoo Is Begging The Public To Help Save It From Permanent Closure

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Chester Zoo Is Begging The Public To Help Save It From Permanent Closure

Chester Zoo has revealed it is under threat of permanent closure after COVID-19 has left it floundering in millions of pounds worth of debt.

Taking to its Facebook page yesterday, the zoo issued a desperate plea for financial help, asking the public to donate if they can and setting up a JustGiving page for donations.

"As the UK's biggest and most popular charity zoo, we've tried to stay positive during this pandemic," said Chester Zoo.

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"Our conservationists have continued to prevent extinction, our virtual days have cheered up the nation, and our learning resources have helped thousands of home-schooling families.

"We wanted to remain a beacon of hope. We really tried. But now, as the government has ordered that we may have to stay closed indefinitely, it hurts us to say that this crisis has left us fighting for our future.

"Not being able to open, despite being a huge outdoor site with all the necessary safety measures in place, is having a devastating impact on our much-loved zoo. We're heading towards debt in excess of £24m by the end of 2020 - this will financially cripple us. We need to raise £1.6m each month to keep going."

Chester Zoo are under threat from permanent closure (Credit: PA)
Chester Zoo are under threat from permanent closure (Credit: PA)
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The zoo explained it's had to "sit back and watch" as people "pile onto beaches and into public parks" with no way of ensuring social distancing.

Meanwhile, their 128 acres of gardens and 16km of pathways (in which they could control numbers and safety measures) are forced to remain closed - the consequence of which is having a devastating impact on the zoo's financial position.

Despite the closure, there are 35,000 threatened and critically endangered animals currently residing at the zoo and keepers and conservationists are still working around the clock to give them the care and attention they need.

Visitors are absolutely crucial for the zoo and make up a staggering 97 per cent of its income.

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The zoo shared an emotional post on Facebook (Credit: Chester Zoo/Facebook)
The zoo shared an emotional post on Facebook (Credit: Chester Zoo/Facebook)

"We REFUSE to cut corners when it comes to caring for the animals," the zoo continued.

"We REFUSE to give up on our fight to prevent extinction. And because of that, we've now reached the point where we desperately NEED YOUR HELP."

Chester Zoo has now set up a JustGiving page where they are asking those who can help, to donate to keep the zoo afloat.

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"So many of you have asked how you can help, and the absolute best way you can do so right now is by making a small donation if you can, and allowing us to use it where we need it most," Chester Zoo explained.

"After all, it costs us a MASSIVE £465,000 a month simply to look after the animals and plants!"

So far, the zoo has raised nearly £885,000. If you can, please donate.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Life News, News, Chester Zoo, Coronavirus

Lucy Devine
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