Help Save Colchester Zoo

Together, with your help we can win the fight, without it we fear for the future

Since lockdown in March 2020, Colchester Zoo launched an Emergency Operating Fund to help towards the zoo’s future which is still uncertain, even now months on.

Although the zoo received hundreds of donations, letters of support during closure and reopened again on the 18th June, the survival of Colchester Zoo is an ongoing battle – a battle that we fear losing. Especially now with another temporary closure during November due to the nationwide lockdown.

Colchester Zoo is set in over 60 acres and cares for over 10,000 animals costing over half a million pounds per month for animal welfare and the upkeep of the park.

Despite Colchester Zoo reopening from the 18th June – 4th November, our capacity and therefore revenue was reduced to a third and so is struggling to see a bright future due to the huge reduction of ordinary income.

We are heavily reliant upon ticket sales and visits to come out the other side of this but since Essex was moved up to the High local level alert visitor numbers plummeted although the zoo remained open with safety measures in place. Then the nationwide lockdown came into place on the 5th November resulting in catastrophic effects.

Without your visits and support we will simply not be able to achieve our mission of helping protect species through education and conservation projects.

We have done our utmost to cut costs wherever possible with many difficult decisions being made but these savings are being swallowed by the day to day running of the zoo.

The majority of our overseas conservation support via our charity Action for the Wild has had to cease whilst the zoo’s future is in jeopardy.

Colchester Zoo employs over 250 staff, to help the zoo continue to operate the majority have been Furloughed or Flexi Furloughed.  Although the Furlough scheme has been extended our wage bill can only be reduced to a certain extent as the animals still need caring for and business operations cannot stop completely if we are to have any chance of surviving this nightmare.

The zoo has always endeavoured to reinvest into the park whether that be to bring something new for visitors, or to redevelop and improve areas for animals. Unfortunately, this has all had to stop whilst we cover monthly bills and try to re-build our cash reserve should we find ourselves in another situation where the zoo has to close due to further COVID restrictions.

Despite these cuts, there are some costs which simply cannot be sacrificed, relating to the animal care and welfare we provide. Day to day running costs for animal welfare are increasing during the Autumn & Winter seasons due to additional heating, electricity and food required.

Unfortunately, we are unable to access the Government’s Zoo Animal’s Fund, we do not qualify for any of the Government grants and cannot gift aid any donations we do receive as although we have a charitable arm, Colchester Zoo is not. This is why your support is vital and so important for the future survival of Colchester Zoo.

Please help us to save our zoo, we have never needed your help more than now. We are passionate that Colchester Zoo and conservation are forever worth fighting for!

Find out how you can help here.

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