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Bristol Zoo launches fundraising appeal to ensure survival amid coronavirus crisis

Bristol Zoo has launched a fundraising appeal to ensure its survival during the coronavirus crisis.

The zoo, which opened in 1836 and so is one of the oldest in the world, says with the site now closed because of the virus they are struggling for money.

The fundraising appeal is also looking to raise cash for the recently opened Wild Place Project which is also shut and various conservation schemes based in 10 countries worldwide.

The BZS Appeal as it's been called, has been launched by the Bristol Zoological Society which owns both sites.

Dr Justin Morris. Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said: “As a charity we rely on the income from our visitors to our two zoos and without them we urgently need to plan to secure alternative sources of revenue.

"The short to medium term is manageable, but we are taking action now for our long-term, which will help safeguard our future."

Dr Morris added that despite the closures thousands of animals still need to be fed, while any money raised will also help ensure conservation projects helping endangered species including western lowland gorillas, giraffes and lemurs can continue.

"We have the same duty of care to our zoo animals as well as the animals we protect in many countries around the world," he said.

"This will and must continue."

Keepers and veterinary staff are still working at both sites despite the government's relative lockdown.

E-newsletters are being sent out to the zoo's 32,500 members, asking for their help.

People can make donations by going to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/covid19appeal.

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