A popular local zoo and conservation charity could be struggling to survive during the coronavirus crisis. Milnthorpe’s Wildlife Oasis have been battling to stay open by putting stringent health and safety procedures in place, but following increased government guidelines, were finally forced to close their doors yesterday.
Home to over 100 species, many of which are critically endangered in the wild, the zoo is an internationally recognised contributor to worldwide conservation programmes. As a registered charity, they also welcome thousands of visitors a year, spreading their message of conservation and education.
The zoo has contingency funds, but with the doors closed, these could soon get eaten up- quite literally. Having so many important mouths to feed makes securing funds to see the zoo through the lockdown period even more critical.
The zoo is calling on supporters and visitors to help raise £10,000 by setting up a ‘Go Fund Me’ page, or taking donations directly.
Nearly three decades since welcoming their first visitors, co-founder Jo Marsden and her staff have never faced a challenge like it: “After coming through the devastating floods, we’re literally fighting for our survival,”, she said. “Our highest priority is always our animals’ welfare, and our dedicated staff will never compromise, but for food, heat, and veterinary care we need to ensure funding. We know we have the most amazing visitors and supporters, so we are calling on anyone who can help make a donation. Nothing is too small- every penny really does help.”
Since making followers aware of their plight, zoo staff have been overwhelmed at their generosity, with £500 given by just 13 donors in the first few days.
Any individuals or local businesses who can make a donation or help fundraise, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/safeguardoasis or contact the zoo directly on[email protected]. See ‘Lakeland Wildlife Oasis’ on Facebook, where the zoo is posting regular updates on the crisis situation.