Emotional zookeepers close gates around the world-famous ZSL London Zoo this afternoon, as the iconic Zoo closes for the second time this year - ahead of the country entering its second nationwide lockdown.
Devoted zookeepers will remain on site to care for and feed the Zoo’s animals, while international conservation charity ZSL, which runs both ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, appeals to the public for support to help continue their vital work.
Announcing the closure, the almost 200-year-old organisation posted a statement, saying: “While we understand this national action is necessary to curb the spread of Coronavirus, it adds a huge burden to an incredibly tough year for us.
“Our focus throughout has always been keeping our animals happy and well cared for, and knowing we would be able to share the joy of the zoo with visitors again.
“But once more we will need to shoulder the costs for the food and care of our 20,000 animals with no way to generate income for ourselves.
“ZSL is aiming to raise £1million through public support to cover this cost during November, so please do donate if you're able - and we look forward to welcoming people back through our gates as soon as we're able to reopen.”