Bringing in the New Year with a splash!!
Here in Cumbria we have experienced record rainfall levels in the past few weeks, the impact of which have certainly been felt at the zoo! Our outdoor section is currently underwater for the third time in less than two months and today we are preparing for the imminent arrival of Storm Frank, the latest in a series of extreme weather events to hit the area. Luckily, we are still smiling through the deluges.. which is mostly down to you, our wonderful supporters!
We launched a JustGiving appeal on December 9th, with a view to raising money which would allow us to elevate our pathways outside, in order to provide our terrestrial free-ranging animals with a little more land to actually ‘range’ over if we are struck again by flooding in the future. The target was set at £5,000 and so far we have already raised a whopping £3,700, still with ten days to go! We are absolutely delighted with the progress the appeal has made and are hopeful that we will reach the full amount before the closing date, January 7th.
We have already made a start on the new pathways and have shifted almost 150 tonnes of materials, mostly by hand! Although the current flood is worse than the first flood back in November, there is actually more dry land available for our animals now, thanks to the new paths, which is a huge relief for staff and animals alike. All of our keepers see our animals as rather extended family members and it is so upsetting to think of them being distressed by the flood waters. We have all been working around the clock to ensure that everyone has access to safe, dry areas.
Before the new paths were laid.. After the new paths were laid..
Thanks to the generosity shown by our supporters, some of which donated money to the cause, volunteered their time to help shift path materials with us, or shared our appeal on their own social media channels, we were able to achieve this quickly and effectively for our free-ranging animals. So, thank you! If you would like to make a contribution to the flood appeal, please follow this link https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/jayneestelle-gibbins.
Although the outdoor area is currently closed due to the flooding, the indoor section is fully open. The entrance fee has been reduced to reflect this, so at just £3 a head our nice warm tropical halls are the ideal place to while away a wet afternoon at the minute! We don’t have a set date for re-opening the outdoor section of the zoo just yet, but we will be updating our Facebook page with flood news on a regular basis, so keep your eyes peeled on there for a set date!
We may be heading into the New Year a foot or two underwater, but we are hopeful that next year will be a good one. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters and to wish you all a very Happy New Year! We hope to see you soon, in 2016.