It’s so far so good in Paignton Zoo’s fight for survival

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It is ‘so far, so good’ for Paignton Zoo and its fight for survival.

The very future of the zoo was under threat after a three-month Lockdown which lost it millions of pounds in revenue and signalled the end of its sister Living Coasts attraction in Torquay.

But the picture looks rosier for the zoo after re-opening.

Zoo director Simon Tonge said: “The summer holidays are over and the children have returned to school.

“When we reopened on July 6, we didn’t know what the holidays would hold or whether people would come to visit us.

“Thankfully they did, and thankfully people had the confidence and the desire to get out and enjoy all that the zoo has to offer.

“Whilst most days have been ‘fully booked’, like everywhere else, we have been operating at reduced capacity to ensure that we meet the statutory guidelines, so have welcomed far fewer guests than usual at this time of year. Consequently, we’re hoping that people will continue to support us by visiting over the autumn and winter months”

Simon says there is extra reason for a visit: “As well as the real, live animals, The Great Big Brick Safari continues until January 3. Guests can see over 80 giant wild animal models made from over one million LEGO® bricks.”

He added: “These coming months will be a challenging time for us but with the continued support of our local communities, whether it’s a visit to the zoo and buying a cup of coffee, adopting an animal, or making a donation to our fundraising campaign, it will all make a massive difference to us.

“Life goes on: now that we know that we can get through to next Spring we are starting to think about next year. What will our zoo look like? How much of our education work will we be able to go on doing? How much of our field conservation work, in this country and overseas, will we be able to support? All important questions, and the answers to all of them ultimately depend on the openness and generosity of the people within our community.”