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Linton Zoo has reopened but it still faces a tough few months




The director of Linton Zoo has said it is a relief to finally be open after a long period of lockdown but “the struggle is far from over”.

Kim Simmons said there is a “real buzz around the park” now that it is receiving visitors again.

The zoo closed in March, and missed out on a lot of income usually gained during the Easter holidays, May bank holidays, May half term and the main school visiting season.

A mob of red kangaroos looks on at Linton Zoo. Contributed picture
A mob of red kangaroos looks on at Linton Zoo. Contributed picture

The costs of feeding, cleaning, heating, vet bills continued however, but with next to no income.

Now the zoo is open again, safety measures such as a one-way routing are in place while a new advanced booking system is helping to control numbers and reduce crowds and the feedback from visitors, said Kim is that “we are a very safe place to visit”.

The zoo though, still faces a fight to survive, as Kim explained: “What we’re hearing now is “great, you’re open, you’ll be ok”, unfortunately that is not necessarily the case.

Lulu the binturong looking happy at the return of visitors to Linton Zoo
Lulu the binturong looking happy at the return of visitors to Linton Zoo

“We are only able to open with limited visitor numbers to comply with Government guidance so most of the time we are actually running at a loss.

“We are just about managing to cover our costs now, but this is the time we should be saving up to get us through the fast approaching cold, winter season when no-one wants to visit an outdoor attraction.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our keepers and volunteers who have cared for the animals throughout and of course to our loyal supporters and fundraisers.

Linton Zoo keeper Mikey with Agnes the Aldabran giant tortoise. Contributed picture
Linton Zoo keeper Mikey with Agnes the Aldabran giant tortoise. Contributed picture

“We have been overwhelmed by the love and support you have shown and continue to show us during this crisis, you have all been fantastic and we couldn’t have gotten this far without you.

“However, our struggle is not over yet and it’s going to be a long difficult and uncertain road to recovery, a journey which we cannot achieve on our own, continued support is needed now more than any time ever before.”

For ways you can show support for the zoo, visit its website via www.lintonzoo.com


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