UK Chester Zoo reveals pandemic has left it with £11.5million black hole last minute news
MetiNews.Com - The popular attraction welcomed news that it should be able to reopen on 12 April
Breaking News ! The coronavirus pandemic has left Chester Zoo facing a £11.5million black hole, bosses have revealed. The popular attraction has been hard hit by restrictions over the past year and remains closed during the current lockdown. Chief operating officer Jamie Chiston welcomed the Prime Minister's 'roadmap' for easing measures which would see outdoor settings such as zoos open on April 12. However, Mr Christon said Chester Zoo has had no financial help from the government and the lockdown has had a devastating effect on finances. "There is no denying that the several months of closure have had a huge impact on our charity zoo," he told CheshireLive. "Visitor ticket sales make up 97 per cent of our income and so we’re relieved to now have a prospective date to work towards reopening our 125 acres of zoological gardens, so that we can continue preventing extinction." Members of the Asian elephant herd at Chester Zoo. From left, Maya, Aung, Bo, Sundara Hi Way, Riva Hi Way and Indali (Image: Cheshire Live) Sign up to the free MEN email newsletter Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here He added: "If we can indeed reopen our safe, outdoor spaces at the earliest proposed date of April 12 then, with no access to the government’s tailored support fund, our wildlife charity will be looking at estimated losses of £11.5million.
." Chester Zoo has been hosting virtual tours to allow families to see their favourite animals at home while closed. And hundreds of supporters have stepped in to help raise funds by 'adopting' animals whose care and upkeep costs around £1.6m a month.
Monsoon Forest at Chester Zoo
(Image: Chester Zoo)
In October, the zoo's Monsoon Forest reopened two years after it was devastated by a fire. The south east Asia-inspired rain forest space closed after it was destroyed in a blaze triggered by an electrical fault in December 2018. The tragic incident resulted in the death of a number of birds, fish and insects. But zookeepers managed to rescue all of the mammals, including the endangered Sumatran orangutans and Sulawesi macaque. Following the blaze, a conservation fundraising page was set up and more than £220,000 was raised in just a week.
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