Battersea Park Children's Zoo Reopens After Lockdown

Huge response to crowdfunding helped it survive through months of closure

Robin the Asian short-clawed otter
Robin the Asian short-clawed otter

Battersea Park Children's Zoo has reopened this Monday (12 April) after more than four months of closure as a result of the national lockdown.

This had been the third time the zoo was forced to close in the past year due to the pandemic. As the zoo relies entirely on the public to fund its work through ticket sales, being closed for so long was a huge challenge for the zoo.

With monthly running costs of over £25,000 to care for more than 100 animals from endangered ring-tailed lemurs to cheeky otters and meerkats, the zoo has struggled to continue with its conservation and education work without its vital income. It receives no government funding and no support from the local council so it relies heavily on visitors.

Mosegi the meerkat
Mosegi the meerkat

Jamie Baker, Head Keeper at Battersea Park Children's Zoo said, “As part of the government's roadmap, zoos were given the green light to reopen from Monday 12th April and since reopening we have seen swathes of people visiting the zoo, many for the first time after seeing the zoos struggle in the local news. We've been inundated with new members and supporters and we hope that this will continue throughout the summer to put us in a strong position to get through the slower winter months.

The Keeper Team at Battersea Park ZooThe Keeper Team at Battersea Park Zoo

“We cannot thank the local community enough for their support, and to everyone that pledged donations towards our Crowdfunder. Between our first lockdown Crowdfunder and our most recent one we have raised over £30,000 - a staggering amount that has undoubtedly helped the zoo to survive this unprecedented situation.

“Every year we educate over 8500 school children from across London through our zoo-based education programme, connecting children from all backgrounds to wildlife conservation. Working with modern zoos from across Europe, Battersea Park Children's Zoo is involved in a number of key conservation breeding programmes, including the EEP (European Endangered Species Breeding Programme) for Scottish wildcats, Bali Starlings and Cotton-top tamarins - all species on the verge of extinction. All of this important work now has a future thanks to the support of the public when they visit the zoo to see our work first hand. “

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April 16, 2021