ZSL London: Animals enjoy Halloween, but new national lockdown a ‘huge burden’ for venue

PUBLISHED: 14:00 04 November 2020

Asim the Sumatran tiger investigates pumpkins at London Zoo. Picture: ZSL

Asim the Sumatran tiger investigates pumpkins at London Zoo. Picture: ZSL


Halloween brought bad news for ZSL London – the zoo will be closed during the national second lockdown.

Meerkats enjoy a Halloween pumpkin at London Zoo. Picture: ZSLMeerkats enjoy a Halloween pumpkin at London Zoo. Picture: ZSL

As bosses at the Regent’s Park attraction digested Boris Johnson’s announcement, they asked animal-lovers to donate what they could to help keep the charity going.

In a statement posted online, the ZSL charity said: “While we understand this national action is necessary to curb the spread of coronavirus, it adds a huge burden to an incredibly tough year for us.

READ MORE: Halloween half-term at London Zoo

“Our focus throughout has always been keeping our animals happy and well cared for, and knowing we would be able to share the joy of the zoo with visitors again.”

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Instead, the zoo , like non-essential shops, pubs restaurants, cinemas, theatres and gyms, will now be shuttered for at least four weeks.

“Once more we will need to shoulder the costs for the food and care of our 20,000 animals with no way to generate income for ourselves,” the zoo said.

ZSL London said “donations of any size” would help its situation.

The bad news went largely unnoticed by the zoo’s animal residents, with creatures great and small tucking into pumpkins specially carved for them – and then filled with their favourite treats.

For Asim the tiger, raw chicken wings were hidden inside his pumpkin, while otters and meerkats were among the other animals to enjoy a spooky surprise or two.

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