Public Raises Over £125,000 In Donations For Chester Zoo To Spend On Conservation After Fire
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
Over £125,000 has been raised in less than 48 hours for Chester Zoo after a fire ripped through the Monsoon Forest area housing a number of endangered species at the weekend.
The fundraising page was set up in the aftermath of the blaze, which sadly saw a number of frogs, insects, small birds and fish killed in the fire on Saturday afternoon.
An original target of £50,000 was smashed within hours of the fire, and the soaring number of donations will help the zoo continue its vital work in the conservation of endangered animals.
Over 7,000 members of the public have donated to the zoo at the time of writing.
Chester Zoo's chief operating officer Jamie Christon said that insurance will cover the costs of the building hit by the flames. Instead, donations will be used on conservation projects around the world and at Chester Zoo.
Mr Christon told PRETTY52: "The entire Chester Zoo team has been humbled by the incredible amount of support and kindness from the local community, our members, visitors and the general public.
"On one of the toughest days in our long history, it reminded us all that the zoo holds a very special place in the hearts of so many of us, and lifted spirits of the whole team.
"So many people have expressed a desire to help in any way they possibly can and we have been overwhelmed by the amount of spontaneous donations made to the Just Giving page.
"The generosity has been truly humbling and all the money given will go directly towards our conservation projects both here in the zoo, and around the world. As a wildlife conservation charity, we will continue our mission to prevent extinction"
Firefighters have now said that the fire was "accidental" but they are still working with police to identify an exact cause.
All mammals, including critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, macaques and gibbons as well as turtles and exotic birds were rescued and moved to safety while firefighters worked tirelessly to put the flames out.
A group of six orangutans, four gibbons and 18 macaques were led away from the flames by keeps waving bananas for them.
One person was reportedly treated for smoke inhalation.
The zoo is now focusing on re-homing and moving the animals around the zoo, although some animals will remain in Monsoon Forest as the fire affected only the right-hand side.
Mr Christon explained: "It's quite a complex task. For example, we have got 51 primate moves - that's 51 moves of large mammal species across the zoo over the next few days to make sure their welfare is maintained."
You can donate to Chester Zoo following the fire here.