Devon zoo closes amid rising cost, hundreds of animals need new home

A zoo in Devon has announced plans to close down the site, with plans in place to find a new home for hundreds of animals including seals and penguins.

Checkout Magazine learnt the decision was made as the Wild Planet Trust could no longer afford to reopen its Living Coasts site in Torquay, Devon, because of the huge cost of the coronavirus lockdown.

This decision was contained in a statement made available on the Trust’s website, where it stated regrets having to make the decision to close.

It wrote on the Trust’s website: “Falling visitor numbers and the forced closure of all its zoos due to COVID-19 has meant that it has had to look at its cost base and make efficiencies.

“After nearly twenty years of operation the site also needed substantial maintenance that the Trust is no longer in a position to afford.”

It now means animals will have to be moved – but it is not yet clear how long this will take.

The Devon site was home to a range of animals, including South American fur seals, African penguins, macaroni penguins, sea ducks, pied avocet, redshanks, black-necked stilts, ruffs, and terns.

Following the announcement, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) told The Independent:
“This is a huge blow to the conservation community and another devastating impact of the coronavirus.”

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