Save our Zoos: how you can help our East Anglia Zoos

We are a nation of animal lovers, the number of zoos in the eastern region alone is testimony to that. So when I hear on the news that our zoos are in trouble, I want to help. I imagine I am not alone.

Zoos in the UK are more than a place to visit over a school break or somewhere to travel to for a Bank Holiday. Zoos are the bread and butter of imperative conservation work. Without zoo breeding programmes many species in the wild would be extinct. Research on animal nature, habitat, food source would not exist and work to preserve and rebuild conservation during climate change wouldn’t have the much-needed animal kingdom evidence to bolster its fight.

On hearing one more zoo pleading for support on the news recently, I decided the very least Eastlife could do was guide anyone like me who wants to do help save our zoos but does’t know how. This round-up is of all the zoo’s in our region who are asking for our support with links and ideas on how you could help, even if just a little.

Zoo’s and parks in need of financial support

Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire

Both the London and Whipsnade ZSL zoos, like all zoos across the region, closed to the public at the end of March. Every day they continue to feed and care for their 20,000 plus animals with bills mounting up in the tens of thousands every day. To show your support you can donate via the link, become a member and benefit from money off future visits, or sign up to newsletters and download activity sheets to keep up-to-date with news plus educate the next generation of animal lovers.

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The zoo also has daily updates and video of the animals via the Facebook Page so you can tune in and get your daily dose of cuteness.

Squirrel Money playing at ZSL Whipsnade - save our zoos
photo courtesy of Whipsnade Zoo Facebook page

Linton Zoo, Linton, Cambridgeshire

You’ll notice a heart-breaking pattern forming from this point forward. Linton Zoo are also struggling to pay the bills and feed the animals. They have set up a donation page and are asking for locals to provide any unwanted fruit and vegetables for the animals. A comprehensive list of suitable foods can be found via the Linton Zoo website as can the donation page. Other ways to help are to make a purchase from their Amazon Wishlist or add a link to your toolbar so that any purchases you make on Amazon, will see a percentage of your payment donated to the zoo. They have also stated that any gift vouchers due to expire will of course be honoured once it is safe to reopen the zoo to the public.

Daily posts are added to their Facebook Page for you to keep in touch and see the animals.

Hamerton Zoo Park, Nr Sawtry, Cambridgeshire

Hamerton Zoo is experiencing a baby boom at present, as are their fellow zoos around the region. It costs over 4K a day to run the zoo and care for the animals. The previous link will take you to their news page with full details on how to donate via their Crowdfunding page or bank transfer. They are also requesting donations of fresh produce and building materials so if you would like to support in this way you can contact them to arrange the details.

For regular updates including the cutest baby photos hop over to their Facebook Page

Shepreth Wildlife Park, Nr Royston, Cambridgeshire

Shepreth Wildlife Park nestled close to the Hertfordshire border is currently offering a 1-2-1 virtual VIP experience. They are asking for a minimum donation payment of £50 for a 30 minute experience and as a thank you for your donation, will send you an entrance pass for the wildlife park so you can visit in the future, and you also receive a certificate in the post. To find out more about the VIP experience head over to the website here.

For regular updates head over to their Facebook Page

Colchester Zoo, Colchester, Essex

Colchester Zoo are one of the largest Zoos in the UK with over 220 species of animal to care for. The level of everyday care for these animals’ costs in excess of a staggering 25K – I reiterate, that’s every day! You may have seen Colchester on the regional and nation news asking for support.

You can help by donating on their website or making a direct bank transfer (details are in the link above). Another way to support is to adopt an animal at this difficult time

In the meantime you can keep updated on the animals and how donated money is being spent via their Facebook Page

Meerkat sitting in the sun at Colchester Zoo - save our zoos
photo courtesy of Colchester Zoo Facebook page

Ventura Wildlife Park, Great Amwell, Hertfordshire

Ventura Wildlife Park are one of the leading providers of animal encounter experiences and they have over 55 species of animal to care for. Not all animals are part of the experiences on offer but are part of an important captive breeding programme to ensure the long-term survival of many species.

You can help by donating on their JustGiving Page via the link above. Once they reach their target the park will give away one amazing Outback Experience for two participants worth £110 to one lucky person who has donated.

If you wish to support the park through the donation of physical items, i.e fruit, vegetables, meat and fish please call or email directly Tel: 01920 870 418 | Email: [email protected]

In the meantime you can keep updated on the animals via their Facebook Page

Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Paradise Wildlife Park, on the border of Herts and Essex have an inspiring history of how the park came to be. The success it is today, is down to the fighting spirit spurred on by its staff (who are literally one big family) charity efforts are keeping the park alive but it’s not enough and they need help too. Read about the latest amazing efforts by park CEO Lynn Whitnall for this years 2.6 Challenge when Lynn ran 26miles around the park to raise money for the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire and The Big Cat Sanctuary.

You too can support via the JustGiving page and I also recommend popping over to the Facebook Page for daily updates and live videos including feeding time and bedtime

2.6 Challenge by CEO of Paradise Wildlife Park, itting in front of lioness - save our zoos
Photo courtesy of Paradise Wildlife Park Facebook page

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Thrigby Hall is a two for one day out whereby you can visit the beautiful grand hall and the wildlife gardens, home to rare species and a family of alligators and crocodiles. Thrigby Hall has a proud history of conservation work and to allow this to continue are asking for support via PayPal on their website.

You can also keep updated on the animals including a seriously cute video of the otters feeding via their Facebook Page

Banham Zoo, Banham, Norfolk

Banham Zoo near the Norfolk/Suffolk boarder is another huge zoo with a 25K daily target for funding to feed the animals and maintain the premises. Once again, the work they do for conservation is so very important to the continued growth and survival of species both in captivity and the wild. Over on Facebook they are finding creating ways to raise money with the help from a few local heroes such as local artist Chloe Turner but they need even more support and the link above takes you to a page where you can donate, sponsor an animal or set up Amazon’s SMILE feature so anything you buy via Amazon will lead to a percentage being donated to the zoo.

You can also keep updated on the animals including regular videos of the otters feeding via their Facebook Page and lots of virtual kids activities too.

Red Panda getting up close to the camera at Banham Zoo - save our zoos
photo courtesy of Banham Zoo Facebook page

Amazona Zoo, Cromer, Norfolk

Amazona Zoo in North Norfolk is a smaller zoo but it packs a punch with conservation focusing on the Brazilian Rainforest. In fact, they are the main provider of support for the endangered Lake Titicaca River Frog. Without support they will struggle to feed their 200 plus South American animals.

To donate you can head over to their Facebook account and click the JustGiving link. You can also watch the daily video logs (currently on Day 35 of lockdown at time of writing).

Africa Alive, Kessingland, Suffolk

Africa Alive on the coast of Suffolk is set in 100 acres, that and the animals do not look after themselves. Their busy team of staff are working round the clock as are all zoo staff across the region. In fact, both Africa Live and Banham Zoo are joined by the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA)

To watch regular videos head over to their Facebook Page

Conservation pledge by ZSAE

Zoo’s and Parks that would appreciate some virtual love

Woburn Safari Park, Woburn, Bedfordshire

Woburn Safari Park is keeping the park staff and animals in the highest of spirits with daily posts on Facebook and Twitter of their antics, the animal shots are wonderful and are sure to make you smile.

Tiger lazing in the sun at Woburn Safari Park during lockdown
photo courtesy of Woburn Safari Park Facebook page

This is by no means an exhaustive list, if you are aware of wildlife parks or zoos in our region that are struggling then please do email me [email protected]  and I will endeavour to add them to this post

For more information on up-to-date info and things to do indoors why not check out our Facebook Page or Groups dedicated to your county CambridgeshireNorfolkSuffolk. Those dog lovers out there would be barking mad not to join our Doglife Group and vegan’s, you’ll be pleased we have one dedicated to you too.

You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest info, competitions and stunning images of our beautiful counties in the Eastlife.

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