Attractions all over Devon have been suffering financial losses since the coronavirus pandemic has seen all tourism stop in the region. Many of them have resorted to launching campaigns to help stay afloat while they wait for the go ahead to reopen. One of the attractions in North Devon that has launched a funding campaign is Exmoor Zoo, which as well as being home to a number of exotic animals who all need feeding and caring for, is also a conservation centre that was due to be granted charitable status.
The zoo is part of more than 40 national and international breeding programmes and cares for more than 350 animals, many of which are rare and endangered species. They, like many zoos have been granted a small reprieve from the government, but this funding will only see them through to July and there have been no plans announced to extend it any further.
This has lead the zoo’s trustees, Danny and Lynn Reynolds, to launch an online fundraiser to enable them to continue their important work, not only in animal conservation, but in providing a fun environment for the public to learn more about the animals in their care and contribute to the local economy.
Speaking to reporters, the pair said: “We’re unsure if we can survive the shutdown, we will try. Regardless, we will incur more debt and may never in the long run emerge from this as we still have to get through next winter. The zoo is more than a tourist attraction, it is a way of life for us and all of our team and part of the social fabric of the area.
“We have a loyal team working for us who are all trying as hard as they can to help the zoo survive. We are well known for holding rarer and different animals that are seldom seen elsewhere and now house a stunning collection of ten different cat species. We know that many of you travel many miles just to see some of our rarer species.
“If you feel that you can help in any way, we will be very, very grateful. We are determined to get through this Covid-19 pandemic and safeguard the welfare and the lives of the animals we are responsible for.”
If you are able to help Exmoor Zoo, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-our-zoo.