Twycross Zoo has been forced to close its gates for a second time to visitors after England entered another national lockdown.
CEO Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE says the move has left her team at the award-winning conservation charity ‘devastated’ as they prepare to take a further financial hit.
The zoo has made no secret of the financial pressure and struggles it has faced since the spring lockdown when it lost out on a significant proportion of its annual visitors and income, leaving a £3.5million dent in its finances.
Twycross protects and cares for over 500 animals everyday and contributes to vital conservation, research and education which must continue even without the vital income provided from visitors.
Dr Redrobe said: “We had hoped this day would never come and myself and all the team here at Twycross Zoo are devastated to be closing our gates to visitors once more, but we know we must do whatever it takes to fight this virus together.
“Without visitors we lose a significant income stream and put our vital conservation, research and education work, both onsite and around the world, at risk.
“Caring and protecting animals never stops and we will not let anything compromise the award-winning level of care our animals have become accustomed to.
“Therefore, we are unable to furlough most of our dedicated staff, and will continue in the hope that this will be a short-lived lockdown.”
“Twycross Zoo is very fortunate to be part of a wide and caring community that really has been our saviour over the last few months and it has been humbling to receive such an amazing level of support.
“But despite this, we find ourselves in a position once again where we are asking our community to get behind us in any way they can so we can be together once more and continue the vital work our world so desperately needs right now.”
In the run up to Christmas there are ways people can support the Midlands zoo including adopting a penguin, buying membership or by simply making an online donation. For more details visit www.twycrosszoo.org