At-risk Exmoor Zoo first in West Country to receive Government funding

Animals at Exmoor Zoo. Credit: Exmoor Zoo

A Devon zoo at risk of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak has become the first in the West Country to receive Government support.

Exmoor Zoo in North Devon has been granted access to the Government’s Covid-19 zoo emergency fund.

The grant will enable the zoo to maintain the welfare of its animals until the end of July.

Exmoor Zoo said the funding would allow staff to care for their animals until the end of July. Credit: Exmoor Zoo

The owners say the funding relieves "a tremendous amount of pressure" on the zoo and means "at least for a little while the animals can come first".

Only zoos within six weeks of closing are eligible to receive this grant and they must prove no other means of available income or loan from the Government initiatives. But we still need your help to enable the zoo to continue after the funding runs out in July.

Danny Reynolds, co-partner of the zoo

Exmoor Zoo is rurally located and "totally reliant" on the tourist hospitality trade.

Danny added: "It seems that there may not be any tourism for the South West at all this year. Therefore, the longer we can get into winter with your help in the form of donations the better our chance of surviving - at least until more normal social activities such as holidays and visits can begin again, hopefully next year.

The zoo is rurally located and relies heavily on the tourism industry for its income. Credit: Exmoor Zoo

"If we are lucky, we may be able to open weekends at least once August is here. We certainly would like to, but it all depends on the restrictions from the Government and enough visitors to pay essential staff brought back from furlough.

"A really big thank you from all the animals and everybody here at the zoo for all your help and generosity but please do not forget us - winter has yet to come!"