"We are struggling": Preston zoo appeals for help during lockdown

A small wildlife centre in Preston has introduced a funding page and animal sponsorship scheme to help support them in lockdown.

By James Holt
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 9:08 pm

The Wild Discovery Animal Experience at Ribby Hall have outgoings of almost £16,000 a month, yet haven’t been eligible for any government funding during the Covid-19 crisis.

The small zoo is home to critically endangered species such as Wildcats and the Phillippine Crocodile and is involved with the biggest animal breeding project in the UK.

“Even though we are a small zoo, we want people to know how important we are in protecting and breeding species that aren’t surviving in the wild,” said Neil Trickett, Zoo founder and director.

“30 percent of our animals are endangered but with no money coming in, we are struggling.

“We won’t be letting our standards of care and welfare to the animals dip, but we know money doesn’t last forever. We want to reach out to the public who have already been generous in their contributions.”

Neil believes that the tourist industry, that includes centres like Wild Discovery, will continue to struggle after lockdown, with many people being out of work or too afraid to visit popular attractions like themselves.

On May 4, the government announced a grant of up to £100,000 will be made available to zoos and aquariums across the UK, with the Wild Discovery centre currently undergoing the application process.

The Wild Discovery Animal Experience

"We haven't had any income since the 19th of March and have had to place a lot of our staff on furlough. If that wasn't an option, we would have had to let them go," said Neil.

"We have applied for the new government grant to support wildlife centres like ourselves but it is a long process and will still need help until we can re-open."

The wildlife centre, which opened its doors in 2016, also have projects in Uganda, using bee hives as mitigation of human and mammal conflict.

Their breeding projects aim to support critically endangered species, such as the Phillippine Crocodile, as there are less than 100 left in the world.

The Wild Discovery Animal Experience

For £15, people can sponsor one of the animals at the wildlife centre, whilst being granted free access and a meet and greet opportunity with their species once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Donations can be made through their website at www.wilddiscovery.co.uk

The Wild Discovery Animal Experience
The Wild Discovery Animal Experience
The Wild Discovery Animal Experience
The Wild Discovery Animal Experience
The Wild Discovery Animal Experience
The Wild Discovery Animal Experience
The Wild Discovery Animal Experience