“It was like the world had been pulled from under our feet when the government announced Covid-19 restrictions and closed all attractions in March” exclaimed Danny the joint Director of Exmoor Zoo. “Our Zoo is not like any other business as even when we are closed our overheads like feeding, vet bills and staff have all got be to covered and as we do not receive any funding or grants we were looking at the possible closure of the Zoo and 30 years hard work gone down the drain. As all our income comes from money received form our visitors – which meant no visitors no income. We had some tough decisions to make.”

Lynn the other joint Director of the Zoo quickly opened a Just Giving account with the hopes of receiving an few thousand pounds to help with the day to day costs. “I was overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the general public – we received over £40,000 as well as food donations from local supermarkets and offers of help from various individuals and local companies.”

Since the Zoo reopened in July we have seen our limit of visitors constantly met and September was by far our best month. During the time of lock down both Danny and Lynn took some time to look at the Zoo, its offerings, experiences, talks, engagement, and the shop. For 2021 some major changes will be made, we are improving our shop with new and more exciting products, launching an online shop with a vast array of unique products, improving our animal talks and experiences and introducing some exciting new animals to the Zoo like Wolverines and in keeping with the area some Smooth-coated Otters.

“its been a very tough season” said Danny, “and both Lynn and myself would like to thank everyone who visited us, gave us money, gave food, sent us messages of support and just generally helped, we cant thank you enough. The biggest news is that the Zoo has survived, and we are now looking forward to seeing you next season”.

Exmoor Zoo