Banham Zoo's special opening to thank fundraising fans
Banham Zoo reopened its doors on Sunday to test its new measures and to let in a group of very special people.
Since it closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), the charity which runs the Norfolk attraction, alongside its Suffolk counterpart Africa Alive, said it had lost around £1.5 million in visitor revenue.
This sparked a campaign from those that love the attractions to raise money to help them survive.
Claudia Roberts, commercial managing director at the ZSEA, said “We are so grateful to every single fundraiser and those who have made kind donations.
“So far, an amazing £80,000 has been raised which will help us rebuild the future for Banham Zoo and Africa Alive.”
On Sunday, some of Banham’s top individual fundraisers were among around 600 visitors invited to a special trial day.
One of these was six-year-old Connor Root, from Harleston, who, with his dad, James, completed 141 miles on his bike in June, and raised more than £6,500.
Steve Childs and James Dennis, from the The Boathouse water sports store, in Attleborough, were also at the event after donating a zebra print canoe to the Zoo’s raffle, which raised £5,000.
The zoo, which opened to pass-holders on Wednesday and is now open again to the general public will have contactless payment and a pre-booking system in place, as well as hand sanitiser stations and two-metre distance markings covering the site.
Managing director Gary Batters (pictured) said: “The safety test day was really successful.
“We want to reassure visitors that our zoos are a safe destination to come to. We have put lots of measures in place to ensure people are socially distanced, so your next visit may be a little different, but hopefully just as amazing.”