Bristol Zoological Society has thanked its members and the general public, after the "heart-warming" response to its fundraising appeal.
To safeguard the long-term future of both its sites - Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project - the group started asking for donations at the end of March.
At the time, Dr Justin Morris, Chief Executive of the 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 response has seen supporters - based both locally and across the world - send financial aid, messages of support and gifts.
Many existing members have also renewed for the next year, despite both sites being forced to temporarily close during the pandemic.
NEWS: @BristolZooGdns has thanked the public for their "heart-warming" response to its recent fundraising appeal. Jane Ibbunson, the Director of Development, has told us the generous donations and gifts have helped secure the Zoo's long-term future. pic.twitter.com/KHYDtkIoDl— The Breeze SouthWest (@breezesouthwest) May 21, 2020
As well as protecting the facilities' longevity, the money has been used to save their endangered species - such as gorillas, lemurs and giraffes.
Director of Development, Jane Ibbunson, told us: “The response to our fundraising appeal has been heart-warming.
“This is only the second time in our 184-year history that we have called on the public for their support – this shows how exceptional this time has been.
"We are still fundraising and will continue to do so in the coming months, so any further support will continue to be gratefully received by all of us at Bristol Zoological Society.”