Stoke-on-Trent residents say the government were wrong to demand Chester Zoo stays closed indefinitely with many branding the decision as ‘ridiculous’.
Bosses at the popular tourist attraction were devastated to be told they had remain closed, despite putting strong safety measures in place and ensuring they are ‘Covid secure’.
And now, thousands of people have taken to social media to vent their anger – with many people in North Staffordshire saying they would ‘feel safer at the zoo than shopping in Primark or Ikea’.
Rös Coulborn said: “How can it be OK to cram onto a beach with no distance markers in place but not be OK to go to a zoo??? I would feel safer at the zoo than a beach or even the supermarket!”
Caroline Scol agreed. She said: “How ridiculous!!!! The government hasn’t hasn’t a clue what its doing – so we can all go to DIY superstores, shopping malls, on the tube, in a bus, on a train, back to school…….but we can’t go the zoo – shocking. lt makes no sense whatsoever.”
And Alexandra Proctor said: “Yet the government open places like B&Q ,ikea we’re everyone floods yet the zoo has been told to remain shut indefinitely. A 126 acre , outside and managed would be a lot safer then opening up a store we’re your indoors.”
In a statement from the Zoo yesterday, they said: “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.”
Lucy Jay says she feels sad thinking about what could happen to the Zoo without the support they need.
She said: “This place does amazing things for the conservation of the animals there. It is their home. The thought of this makes me feel so sad thinking about what will happen to them. The government really needs to step in here and help.”
And Angela Evans says the government ‘needs to give their heads a wobble. She said: ” Chester Zoo would be so much more beneficial to everyone’s mental health children and adults alike and also more beneficial for everyone’s bodily exercise than waiting in a bloody queue to go to MacDonald’s, KFC or even B&Q.
“Give your heads a wobble government you’ve been doing well so far and let’s face it the animals n zoo need the money more than fast food places.”
Sarah Morgan said: “I would feel much safer at Chester Zoo than Primark that’s for sure!”
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.
They said: “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.”