Hampshire conservation charity Marwell Wildlife has launched a fundraising campaign to help cover animal costs during the coronavirus shutdown.

Marwell Zoo near Winchester is currently closed to guests however it is business as usual for a dedicated team of zookeepers, vets and scientists. They are working tirelessly to ensure the zoo’s animals, many of which are endangered species and part of important global breeding programmes, receive the same high level of care and attention.

It is hoped the fundraising drive will help with the zoo’s daily animal expenses such as feed, bedding and heating while the zoo is unable to receive income from visitors. The 140-acre wildlife park is home to hundreds of animals, from endangered Amur tigers, snow leopards and white rhinos to giraffes, gibbons and penguins.

Marwell Wildlife Chief Executive James Cretney
Marwell Wildlife Chief Executive James Cretney

Launching the campaign, which has already received more than £1,500 in donations, Marwell Wildlife Chief Executive James Cretney, said, “While Marwell Zoo is closed to our guests, we want to reassure you that we are keeping the care and welfare of our animals as our highest priority. Our talented teams including keepers, vets, scientists, maintenance workers and landscapers are working tirelessly to ensure there is no interruption to the dedicated and compassionate care each and every animal receives, and we are in awe of their energy during this unsettling time.

“Marwell relies on day ticket, membership, retail and catering sales; things we are no longer receiving; in order to operate. We are reducing non-essential expenses, but we simply cannot do the same for the daily care all our animals need.

“We are so grateful for all the kind wishes and offers of support and we feel incredibly lucky to be part of your community for nearly 50 years. You can help us through these difficult times. Your generosity will ensure we can go the extra mile caring for the animals so that future generations can experience the joy of coming to the zoo, and knowing what we can do for conservation here in the UK and the world.

“We are asking for donations through our Just Giving page, as this platform also enables us to take Gift Aid. If you are a UK taxpayer please tick the Gift Aid option to increase your donation at no extra cost to you.

“Every penny adds up and so does our gratitude, so thank you for your loyal support – Marwell simply couldn’t do what we do without you!”

To donate or to find out more about the campaign, please click here.

Marwell Zoo, home to more than 140 species, is owned by Marwell Wildlife, a global conservation charity leading programmes in the UK, Africa and across the world. The charity engages with over 50,000 schoolchildren through curriculum-based education programmes and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year to its 140-acre site.

Photos Credit Jason Brown.