Bosses at Chester Zoo say the future of the tourist attraction has been thrown into doubt after the government has ordered the attraction to stay closed ‘indefinitely’.
A post on the Zoo’s website has revealed they had received the ‘devastating’ news that they have been told to remain closed, despite putting strong safety measures in place and ensuring they are ‘Covid secure’.
The statement says: “We’ve tried to stay positive during this pandemic, we’ve planned for our opening, we’ve cut no corners in terms of care for our animals and commitment to our conservation work, we’ve looked forward to welcoming You back soon.
“But we have now received devastating news that the government has ordered us to ‘stay closed indefinitely’ despite being ‘Covid secure’ and able to safely manage numbers and social distancing.
“While other ticketed gardens open this week our 128 acres must stay closed’.
“This has thrown the future of the zoo into doubt.”
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The attraction is now appealing for the public’s help to secure its future – they need to raise £1.6m a month to save it.
The statement continues: “If all our members choose to keep their memberships going this month that would be a huge help to get us there.
“We hope that this month you can help us by simply continuing with your membership with no changes or renewing your membership if it’s due to end.
“You can also make a donation here. Or choose to adopt an animal, details of which are on the zoo’s website.
“We are doing everything we can to cut our costs and find ways to make ends meet but it simply isn’t enough.
“We know you’ve all been so patient waiting to hear about when you’ll be able to return to the zoo. The honest answer is that we don’t know when that will be.
“We are still fighting hard to get the go ahead to reopen soon but we have now reached the point where we desperately need your help.”