Posted December 27, 2020 in News
Please note that since this letter was published the UK has entered national lockdown which forces all zoo’s to close until further notice.
Dear Friend & Supporter…
From Dr DA Tropeano, Managing Director
Dear Friend & Supporter,
I sincerely hope you have experienced peaceful and safe Christmas celebrations in what has been a year of turmoil, challenges and sadness for us all.
The order to close our doors from Boxing Day onwards was not completely unexpected and understandable under the circumstances. High levels of infection in the county made the decision easy to accept.
For a while now I actually thought we should not be open given the direction the level of infections were going.
You will remember we never reopened our indoor play complex when we were allowed to because we could not guarantee complete safety therefore, we decided this was not a risk we should take.
After being told we must close the zoo on the 23rd December from Boxing Day, later on an amendment was made, we were advised all our outdoor exhibits could remain accessible to visitors so as long as all indoor areas remain closed.
In a word the Government is allowing zoos to stay open in Tier 4.
After an extremely tough year which has brought us down to our knees, made us consider our future, when many of our worldwide conservation projects are starved of money, you could argue that being allowed to remain open is good news.
However, it makes me think, “But is it? Or above all, is it a sensible decision?”. It makes me question, “Do I really want the zoo to remain open in the winter without offering reasonable facilities? Do I want the zoo doors open to the public and not be able to guarantee you and your child this is a safe space to spend the day at this moment in time?”
No, I cannot guarantee this whilst the infection levels are so high, therefore in spite of financial loss the decision is taken, sadly, that we cannot reopen as we cannot guarantee your safety at the moment, nor do we want to be part of sending confusing messages.
This will not help us financially but this is, I believe, the right decision at least for now, until we see the level of infection lower, so we will review our position from time to time.
I know many of you have been so kind and generous in the past, we hope you will continue to help us in any way you can so we can keep the Zoo going and survive.
The 1st January 2021 will be much different to New Year 2020 and at this moment in time we don’t have a scenario for the New Year but we expect any recovery to be very tough and challenging.
The animal collection will be fine, we will ensure everything is in place for their well-being so please do not worry about the animals.
I will close this letter now, I hope you will be able to support us during this closure and we wish you all a happy and above all healthy New Year from the animals, all the staff and my family.
Please click here to see how you can financially help during this time, your help is much needed and appreciated.
Dr DA Tropeano OBE
Managing Zoo Director
In memory of our Vet, John Lewis, who sadly lost his life in November 2020.