Ark launches fundraising campaign to help it stay afloat during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 June 2020

The zoo celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.	Picture: Mark Atherton

The zoo celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Picture: Mark Atherton

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A zoo has launched a fundraising campaign to help with the cash shortfalls brought on by the coronavirus.

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm. Wraxall. Giant pumpkin being given to elephants. Picture: Mark AthertonNoah's Ark Zoo Farm. Wraxall. Giant pumpkin being given to elephants. Picture: Mark Atherton

It costs more than £3,000 per day to feed the 120 species of animals and to pay for keepers’ wages, food and veterinary care at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, in Clevedon Road.

The zoo was able to secure extra borrowing from its bank at the beginning of lockdown, but with the upkeep a zoo needs, the zoo is now having to ask for donations from supporters and members of the general public.

With no income from visitors on site, the zoo has started fundraising to help it continue feeding the animals, which costs around £8,000 per month.

From bugs, to vegetables and meat to browse, there is a vast amount of food which feeds the animals in just one day.

Male tiger Khan with his new toy. Picture: Mark AthertonMale tiger Khan with his new toy. Picture: Mark Atherton

Each animal has different needs from elephants, rhinos and giraffes to gibbons, giant anteaters and meerkats.

These are animals with specialist diets, and they need skilled care from trained animal keepers.

The zoo has started a fundraiser to raise money for its animal support fund which will go towards animal food during the lockdown.

Noah’s Ark relies entirely on visitors to cover the costs of running the zoo.

Bears enjoying their carrots. Picture: Mark AthertonBears enjoying their carrots. Picture: Mark Atherton

The ticket sales and income from the café and gift shop are what pays for feeding and caring for the animals.

Only 20 keepers remain at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and with no visitors around, animal care is the focus. The keepers are spending their time, with everyday cleaning and feeding routines, making enrichment for their animals as well as all the jobs that come around at this time of year.

New additions have arrived at the zoo since it was closed to the public, including lambs and piglets being born, a baby camel and zebra.

The attraction celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

Elephants at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm. Picture: Mark AthertonElephants at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm. Picture: Mark Atherton

Larry Bush, the zoo’s managing director, said: “It’s been so moving to receive messages of support and generous donations from people who obviously love Noah’s Ark.

“This means so much to all of us and is helping us keep going through these difficult times.”

To donate money, log on to www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk


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