Attractions industry news

17 Dec 2018

Money raised to support Chester Zoo following fire will be spent on conservation efforts

Money raised on the wake of a devastating fire at Chester Zoo on Saturday (15 December) will be spent on conservation projects, says its management.

The fire, which destroyed much of the roof of the British zoo's monsoon forest area and took the lives of some of its animals, has been declared an accident, though the exact cause has not yet been determined.

Following the blaze, the zoo launched an online fundraising appeal to support repairs. Seeking £50,000 (US$63,000, €56,000), the zoo has more than doubled its target, nearing £120,000 (US$151,000, €133,500). That full figure will now be spent on conservation efforts, with the cost of repairs to be covered by insurance.

"Yesterday was one of the toughest days in Chester Zoo’s long history," said Jamie Christon, the zoo's chief operating officer.

"The remarkable efforts from the zoo team and the emergency services meant the fire was extinguished as quickly as possible.

"Visitors were evacuated immediately and we would like to thank them for their understanding and cooperation. Thankfully, no staff or members of the public were harmed in the incident.

"We will support each other in rebuilding this part of the zoo and continue our mission of preventing extinction."

The zoo reopened on Sunday (16 December), having had to close and evacuate customers on Saturday. Animals that were able to be saved were rehoused in different enclosures in the zoo.

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