The charity and zoo launched an urgent appeal just yesterday.
Releasing their finances amid the Coronavirus crisis just yesterday, Chester Zoo – the UK’s most visited zoo – revealed that they could no longer sustain their finances, calling on the public to help raise funds so they can continue their vital work for the animals.
Sharing the call out to their social media followers, a post read: “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.”
Launching their JustGiving page just yesterday, donations have been pouring in – with the grand total of funds nearing the £1m mark in just over a day, raising over £800,000 in the first 24 hours and garnering 49,000 supporters (and counting!).
The vital funds are required to take care of the zoo’s 35,000 animals, who all need feeding and caring for, despite the zoo remaining closed. Not only that, but the zoo also funds important conservation projects, which work incredibly hard to prevent endangered animals from becoming extinct.
The news that Chester Zoo would not be permitted to re-open comes as the workforce executed strict social distancing measures across the 128-acre site, ensuring the popular family destination was COVID-19 secure for all visitors.
Representatives for the zoo and charity have publicly voiced their frustration at the government’s decision, saying: “we’re having to sit back and watch as people are piling onto beaches and into public parks, where there is no way of controlling numbers, no way of guaranteeing people are socially distanced and no way of ensuring safety. We, can do all of this.
“We look on as, from this week, private gardens open up, while our own 128 acres of gardens and 16km of pathways remain closed, and under enormous financial pressure.
“We REFUSE to cut corners when it comes to caring for the animals”.
While donations are coming in thick and fast in support of the much-loved Cheshire attraction, Chester Zoo still requires urgent funding, with operational costs ringing in at a whopping £1.6m every month.