30/03/2020

Bristol Zoological Society launches vital appeal

Bristol Zoological Society has today launched an appeal to ensure the future of its work saving wildlife with the support of the general public.

Its aim is to safeguard Bristol Zoo Gardens, Wild Place Project and conservation schemes in 10 countries across the world.

The society, which is a registered charity, has launched the BZS Appeal following the temporary closure of both its sites in Bristol in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Justin Morris. Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said: “As a charity we rely on the income from our visitors to our two zoos and without them we urgently need to plan to secure alternative sources of revenue.”

He said funds were needed not only to safeguard Bristol Zoo and Wild Place but to ensure conservation to help save endangered species, including western lowland gorillas, giraffes and lemurs could continue.

Dr Morris said: “The short to medium term is manageable, but we are taking action now for our long-term, which will help safeguard our future.”

Dr Morris said thousands of animals still had to be fed and cared for, despite Bristol Zoo and Wild Place Project closing their doors to the public.

He added: “We have the same duty of care to our zoo animals as well as the animals we protect in many countries around the world. This will and must continue.  

“As a charity, our mission is ‘Saving Wildlife Together’. We have been doing this for 185 years and plan to continue doing so for our future generations.“

Keepers and veterinary staff are still working at both sites and the zoos’ infrastructure needs to be maintained.

Dr Morris said: “We have been fortunate that many of our members are already reaching out to us and asking how they can help our two zoos and our conservation field programmes to continue to thrive."

He said the Society’s response was to launch the BZS Appeal. Enewsletters explaining have today gone out to the 32,500 members of Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project asking for their help.

Dr Morris said: “In these unprecedented times, we need support to ensure we continue to thrive when we reopen.”

He said the Society appreciated these were difficult times for everyone but he said any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Although Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project are closed, people can still keep up with news, pictures and videos of the animals on the websites and social media channels.

Dr Morris said: “It is amazing how animals can lift your heart at this difficult time!”

People can make donations by going to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/covid19appeal

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