Chester Zoo’s public appeal for help to save the venue has seen more than £800,000 raised in just one day.
Representatives at the animal enclosure – one of the biggest of its kind in the UK – announced that the zoo was in very real danger of closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
700 jobs hang in the balance – with Chief Operating Officer Jamie Christon admitting it was “highly likely” that redundancy processes would be initiated in the coming weeks.
Chester Zoo is forecast for debts of £24 million after more than three months of low income and no visitors.
Despite being “COVID-secure” – with social distancing measures in place and hand sanitisers installed across site – current government advice dictates Chester Zoo must remain closed “indefinitely”.
On Wednesday, representatives announced the launch of a #SaveOurZoo appeal to generate the £1.6m required per month to stand a chance of surviving.
More than 800k has been donated in less than 24 hours.
Mr. Christon said the zoo was “overwhelmed” by the support that’s come in so far.
“Long may it continue,” he told BBC Breakfast.
A message on the Chester Zoo fundraiser states: “We REFUSE to cut corners when it comes to the animals. We REFUSE to give up on our fight to prevent extinction. And because of that, we’ve now reached the point where we desperately NEED YOUR HELP.
“We need you to SAVE OUR ZOO.”
You can donate by visiting their JustGiving page here.