Together we can save Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo logo

Paignton Zoo logo - Credit: Archant

The Torbay Weekly and Paignton Zoo launch appeal to secure its future

Paignton Zoo's Simon Tonge

Paignton Zoo's Simon Tonge - Credit: Archant

The Torbay Weekly is launching its first campaign – to help save Paignton Zoo.

To lose one of the country's top attractions which is at the heart of the community would be unthinkable – but the real danger is there.

More than three months of pandemic shutdown has lost the zoo millions of pounds. It costs £17,707 each day to run the zoo, including a daily food bill of £737, vet costs of £689 and the daily keeper costs are £3,518.

Living Coasts, the Wild Planet Trust's other attraction across Bay in Torquay, will not re-open after struggling financially for some time. The zoo could follow in the future if it doesn't secure the help it needs.

Zoo Appeal new logo

Zoo Appeal new logo - Credit: Archant

The zoo is due to re-open to passholders on July 6 and July 7 with the gates open to everybody from Wednesday July 8 with an array of Covid-19 changes and rules in place.

Executive director Simon Tonge has already pleaded with the public, especially local residents, to support the zoo.

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It has been overwhelmed by the support that it has received so far with thousands of pounds raised from donations as well as 'amazing people and businesses' who are fundraising on its behalf.

The Torbay Weekly and Zoo want to build on that community spirit.

Besides encouraging donations, we will be promoting and publicising all those fantastic fund-raising events.

There will be also opportunities to support some of the zoo's most popular animals to make sure their future is in Torbay and at the zoo they love.The appeal fund will be open-ended – zoo animals aren't just for the summer!

Mr Tonge said: 'We would like to thank everyone for their support. Anything you can do to support us will make a massive difference.'

Torbay Weekly editor Jim Parker said: 'Paignton Zoo is part of Torbay's fabric. To lose it would be a disaster. Torbay has a huge heart and we are sure we won't let that happen.'

Next week – more details of the appeal; who has helped so far; and the animals you can 'save' starting with Gonzo the goat!

Meanwhile, if you have any fund-raising events in mind please email the details to torbayweekly@archant.co.uk

And please keep those donations coming in by going to this page https://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/support-us/our-animals-need-you