Zoo becomes latest victim to coronavirus pandemic

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Homeless: African penguins at Living Coasts zoo in Devon Credit: Living Coasts/Twitter

A DEVON zoo has announced it will have to close due to the cost of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of animals will need new homes as Wild Planet Trust revealed it will have to close its Living Coasts operation in Torquay because it can’t afford the running costs.

Around 44 staff are likely to lose their jobs and the future of staff at the zoos in Paignton and Newquay that are also owned by Wild Planet Trust are unclear.

Living Coasts is home to South American fur seals, African penguins, macaroni penguins, sea ducks, pied avocet, redshanks, black-necked stilts, ruffs and terns.

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A statement on the Trust’s website confirmed the closure: “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 20 years of operation the site also needed substantial maintenance that the Trust is no longer in a position to afford.”

The news comes just days after the Prime Minister announced that zoos could reopen their doors the public.


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