A note from the CEO, a close encounter with the cubz, James you are pawesome, some brave lynx boy’s and baby fever!
As we entered our 13th week of closure, we start this weeks blog with a post from Karen our CEO regarding the challenges faced by the zoo with the uncertainty regarding the reopening of zoos around the UK; “13 weeks in and Zoos are making the headlines all over the UK and regardless of size or financial commitments it’s important to say we are all in the same boat. Feeding and caring for the animals in our care has meant we cannot, unlike other businesses, down tools and go home. Whilst we have furloughed some staff there can be no compromise on the welfare we provide our animals and all this comes at huge financial cost.
Our essential basic costs – heating, lighting, water, food, care staff – for safari zoo run at £45,000 a month. We have used the available time to pay schemes the government have made available for paye and pension, deferred vat payments, taken loans but these, like the £490,000 annual rent, £50,000 insurance and supplier bills, all have to be paid at some point.
Between March and June we would normally take in the region of £750,000 and as you know that money comes from our guests through the door. Like all zoos we make the money from Easter to September to carry us through the winter months .
Last weekend the government changed the law which meant zoos are legally not allowed to open, yet this week and over the coming week we have seen non essential stores like IKEA and smaller gardens which house animals, places like the WWT, allowed to open. We at safari zoo are ready we have everything in place to open safely, we have acres of fresh air and wide open spaces and as parliament come together to discuss zoos on Thursday we urge MP’s to think and act responsibly and fairly.
If we lose the summer season, closure bankruptcy and threat to animal lives becomes a very real prospect.
Our MP Simon Fell, who has been hugely supportive throughout, will be attending on Thursday and I urge you all please contact your MPs ask them to attend and ask them to vote for zoos who are on their knees and to please throw us a lifeline.
For those who are new to us we do have a number of ways to support:
Animal edoptions which include an entry ticket all for £10 available here
Animal meal sponsorship from £10 available here
Purchase a heavily discounted animal encounter here
Make a one off or recurring donation here
Support Senior Keeper Michael’s Go fund me here
Elsewhere, we continued to have amazing experiences, surrounded by some of the worlds most endangered and fascinating animals.
First up, we wormed resident Red Pandas and checked the microchips of Panda cubs Tick and Tock ahead of Tock’s impending move to his new home! No matter how many times we do things like this it is always so exciting to be able to get in such close proximity to these cuties!
Next up, our amazing support continues as we received a lovely email from Gemma whose son James loves animals and loves the zoo so much he had decided to walk 20 miles each week to raise funds to help us feed the animals! Absolutely pawesome! Here’s an update from his Mum Gemma on how James is doing ;
“Just wanted to send you a quick email and some photos as James is very proud that he is 3 days in and so far has raised £400 and his little legs have gone 11.5 miles so far! Were really hoping the zoos are allowed to be open soon!”
James, you are truly pawesome! https://www.gofundme.com/f/james-help-to-save-south-lakes-safari-zoo🦒🦏🦓🦩🐆🐅🐾🦘🦝🦥🦦
Elsewhere the lynx boys, who joined us only a few days before lockdown, are continuing to make themselves at home exploring their enclosure. 🐾
The little wood ducklings who were rejected by their momma a couple of weeks back have grown so much! They have now moved to our onsite veterinary room with a nice big pen and swimming pool to help them build up all big and strong to be able to fend for themselves S when they are released into the aviary.
Baby fever also continued with Capybabbas, a new brown lemur baby and the ruffed lemur babies continued to venture outside!
As always we thank you for your continued support.
the Safari Zoo team