We wrote last week that zoos, Chester Zoo amongst them, were fighting for their future. They had been told by the Government to prepare to remain closed ‘indefinitely’. In a dramatic u-turn, they will be allowed to welcome visitors in just a few days. Downing Street said today: “We hope the reopening of safari parks and zoos will help provide families with more options to spend time outdoors while supporting the industry caring for these incredible animals.”
Chester Zoo’s donations page has currently raised nearly £2.5 million. In a statement, they said: “We have suffered severe financial damage” but the donations “have given us a vital lifeline.” The zoo is hoping it can open quickly and safely with online booking and a new range of safety measures including limiting visitor numbers, floor markers and hand sanitiser points. They will not be allowed to open indoor sections and catering outlets will have to remain takeaway only.
Chester Zoo announced: “YOU DID IT! A week ago we were in despair, not knowing when we would reopen, or if we could even survive much longer… BUT YOUR VOICES HAVE BEEN HEARD! …Your support has been incredible. Every kind donation, every word of support. It really is making a HUGE difference. The fight isn’t over for us just yet. But, for now, we want to celebrate this huge moment of relief with you.”