Homes found for the animals of Torquay’s Living Coasts attraction

Paignton Zoo boss Simon Tonge

Paignton Zoo boss Simon Tonge - Credit: Archant

Homes found for the animals of Torquay's Living Coasts attraction

Homes been found for the animals of Living Coasts.

It was announced on Monday that the Torquay tourist attraction will not be re-opening following its closure during the current global coronavirus pandemic.

But today the Wild Planet Trust, which also runs Paignton and Newquay zoos, confirmed the future of the Living Coasts animals is secure.

The Trust said: 'Living Coasts is part of a world-wide network of zoos and aquariums, and this community has come together to re-home the animals in their specialist facilities.

'The animals will not be moved immediately as moving animals to other zoos and aquariums is a complex process.'

Dr Kirsten Pullen, Director of Conservation and Education said: : 'We needed to ensure that their new home is the right habitat, the right social grouping and has the right experienced staff working with them.

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'There is a range of legislation we need to comply with – for example, the size of animal carrier we move them in, and what 'permits', 'passports' and health certificates they need to cross country borders.

'We need to be sure the transport company is experienced and reliable, and they have all the paperwork ready for inspection. At every step, the wellbeing of our animals is key to a successful transport. In the meantime, Living Coasts staff will continue to care for the animals.'

Simon Tonge, Executive Director of Wild Planet Trust, said: 'I am pleased, but not surprised, that we have found homes for our animals so quickly.

'The zoo community is very networked and mutually supportive. Thank you to all our members and friends for sharing your concerns and I hope you are reassured that our animals are in the best possible hands.'

Paignton Zoo is due to re-open after three months of shutdown on July 6 with all the government safety guidelines in place.

It has appealed to the public, especially local residents, to support it going forward or its future may in doubt as well.

Living Coasts wasn't just a victim of the virus. Revenues coming into the zoo were no longer able to subsidise its sister attraction across the Bay.