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Covid-19 lockdown: Animal rescue centres relying on public support

2021-1-6 16:49| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 6| 评论: 0

摘要: image captionPeak Wildlife Park says not knowing when they can reopen is 'really difficult'Zoos and animal rescue centres in the West Midlands are starting vital fundraising appeals as a third lockdow ...

Peak Wildlife Park
image captionPeak Wildlife Park says not knowing when they can reopen is 'really difficult'

Zoos and animal rescue centres in the West Midlands are starting vital fundraising appeals as a third lockdown means income is "lost overnight".

Peak Wildlife Park in Staffordshire, which is home to animals including penguins, lemurs and wallabies, is also dealing with an avian flu outbreak.

It is hoping people will adopt animals or pay for food parcels as overheads for rescue centres remain the same.

Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre also in Staffordshire said support was vital.

Lesley Smith, whose family run the centre in Eccleshall look after 160 rescue animals including monkeys, reptiles and birds of prey.

The centre lost animals in a large fire in 2019 and Mrs Smith said they have been surviving on money leftover from £60,000 raised after the blaze.

Peak Wildlife Park
image captionPeak Wildlife Park is also dealing with avian flu
James Butler
image captionJames Butler said he had cordoned off his birds

"It's a scary time really," Mrs Smith, whose husband started the centre in 1993, said.

"We can't cut down on heating or food costs for the animals so we are really relying on support from the public.

"The thought of having someone come in to have to put the animals down in the absolute worst case, is just awful and not worth thinking about - I think we'd all sell a kidney each before that happened."

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James Butler, general manager at Peak Wildlife Park in Leek said bird flu "came out the blue a month or two ago" and he has had to cordon off birds and keep them inside.

"It's really, really difficult. Your income goes overnight, but your overheads stay exactly the same... and this time, not knowing how long it will last for, it's really hard to plan for."

Geoff Grewcock, from Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, said the situation was heartbreaking, not only having to close but being unable to keep rescuing animals.

He transformed his Nuneaton garden into a wildlife sanctuary after he retired as a security guard in 2001.

Since then, he and his family and supporters have helped 62,000 animals, using his pension to fund a lot of the costs.

He estimated the centre lost £35,000 in 2020 with running costs of £30,000 a year.

"We normally rescue between 200 and 300 animals a year, and last year it was 20 or 30 so it's just heartbreaking to know you can't get out there an help them as you would."

Geoff Grewcock
image captionGeoff Grewcock has helped more than 60,000 animals since 2001
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