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Lavenham Falconry optimistic about bouncing back from setbacks during coronavirus pandemic

The owner of an animal sanctuary in Monks Eleigh says he remains optimistic about the future of the centre, despite suffering a series of setbacks during the coronavirus pandemic.

A shop at Lavenham Falconry was broken in to in April, with damages expected to cost around £1,800.

Stephen Younge, who owns the sanctuary in Hadleigh Road, said the incident, which was captured on CCTV, was a big blow to the business.

Monks Eleigh, Suffolk. Stephen Younge of the Lavenham Falconry Centre. (42182441)
Monks Eleigh, Suffolk. Stephen Younge of the Lavenham Falconry Centre. (42182441)

“We had only been in lockdown for a couple of weeks, so it was a bit of a sad time,” he said, adding that the team was relieved to see the creatures had been left unharmed during the break-in.

“Luckily, they didn’t get as far as the animals – that’s what we were concerned about.”

Following the incident, the team has been focusing on reinstating the centre’s shop, combined with urgent roof repairs after a period of heavy rain.

The impact has had a knock-effect on planned projects, with some having to be put on hold while the work is completed.

“We have had to divert the money elsewhere,” said Mr Younge.

The centre is hoping to apply for a zoo licence in the coming weeks, which will allow it to increase its visitor numbers in the future.

The team was delighted to welcome its first baby leopard gecko, which was bred at the centre, before hatching at the weekend.

“It was very exciting,” said Mr Younge, adding that it was reassuring to see visitors returning to the centre after the lockdown.

“We are taking bookings and we are busy again. Everything is looking good.”