Last week the future looked bleak for Chester Zoo, the leading charity zoo in the UK.
Although lockdown is now easing across Britain, the government previously stated that wildlife parks and zoos must remain closed for the foreseeable future.
The team at Chester Zoo revealed that €1.8m was needed each month to keep the park afloat, saying it was “fighting for its future”. Visitor revenue makes up 97 per cent of the zoo’s income, allowing the park to support not only the 35,000 animals it is home to in Chester, but also the 80 global conservation projects it also funds.
In the last week, Chester Zoo has received over €3.3 million in donations from the public - including sponsorship from budget supermarket chain Iceland, who took over the operating costs of the park’s penguins.
Thanks to extensive lobbying and support from local politicians, the UK government has decided to reverse its previous decision on zoos, allowing them to reopen from 15 June.
The news comes in the same week as Chester Zoo celebrates its 89th birthday, after it first opened its doors on 10 June, 1931.