Local soldiers collectively run over 600 miles to raise funds for Colchester Zoo

  • Watch Hannah Pettifer's report here:

A month ago Colchester zoo, which employs over 450 people, closed its doors to the public following the coronavirus outbreak.

Around 80 per cent of its staff have since been placed on furlough, but the animals still need to be taken care of.

The zoo costs £25,000 a day to maintain, and with no admissions, the money is due to run out in September.

To stop this happening, a group of soldiers from the local barracks decided to run the equivalent of Land's End to John o'Groats to raise money to help keep the zoo open and running. Collectively, that's 603 miles.

Over the next few days in lockdown, nine serving soldiers from 16 air assault brigade will each run a half marathon to make up the miles, which will be run locally and tracked digitally.

Many of the soldiers have previously visited the zoo and said they didn't want to see it struggle:

The soldiers say they've been inspired by other people's acts of kindness since the outbreak.

The outpouring of support for the zoo since its closure has taken its staff by surprise.