The government has ordered Chester Zoo to stay closed indefinitely, throwing the future of the much-loved zoo into doubt.
Chester Zoo is the UK’s biggest and most popular charity zoo that provides conservation to many endangered species.
Throughout lockdown, the zoo has taken to social media to provide virtual days around the zoo. The virtual days lasted for hours at a time and included an array of animals, educational pieces and the chance to watch feedings.
The zoo has taken to its Facebook again but this time with a message titled ‘Save Our Zoo’.
The post revealed that the staff had received the devastating news that they would have to remain closed despite putting safety measures in place and ensuring they are COVID secure.
The statement says: “We’ve tried to stay positive during this pandemic, we’ve planned for our opening, we’ve cut no corners in terms of care for our animals and commitment to our conservation work, we’ve looked forward to welcoming You back soon,”
“But we have now received the devastating news that the government has ordered us to ‘stay closed indefinitely’ despite being ‘COVID secure’ and able to safely manage numbers and social distancing.
“While other ticketed gardens open this week our 128 acres must stay closed. This has thrown the future of the zoo into doubt.”
The zoo recently released pictures of the new safety measures it had put in place, hoping it would be able to reopen the doors in July.
The statement addresses the issue of the public ‘piling onto’ beauty spots where there is ‘no way of controlling numbers’, stating that the zoo is able to guarantee people keep socially distanced and can easily control numbers.
The charity now needs to raise £1.6m a month to save it.
So far, the Just Giving page has more than 44,000 supporters and £839,839 donated.
The statements ends with: “We REFUSE to cut corners when it comes to caring for the animals. We REFUSE to give up on our fight to prevent extinction. And because of that, we’ve now reached the point where we desperately NEED YOUR HELP.
We need you to SAVE OUR ZOO…”
Keep up to date with the news of Chester Zoo here.
Boy, 15, arrested after teenage boy stabbed to death outside school
He’s the second person to be arrested
A teenage boy has been arrested following the murder of a 15-year-old on Wednesday.
The suspect, also 15, was picked up by police after student Khayri McLean was stabbed to death in Huddersfield.
He has now been arrested in connection with the murder.
He’s the second person to be arrested as police investigate Khayri’s death outside his school.
West Yorkshire Police said: “Police investigating the murder of 15-year-old Khayri McLean in Huddersfield have arrested a second youth in connection with the incident.
“The 15-year-old male was arrested yesterday and is currently in custody. A 16-year-old male who was arrested yesterday also remains in custody.
“Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team (HMET) are continuing to conduct enquiries into the death of Khayri, who died after being stabbed on Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, on Wednesday.”
Kwasi Kwarteng scraps cap on bankers’ bonuses in first mini-budget as Chancellor
NEWS JUST IN
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng gave his first mini-budget in the House of Commons this morning.
He began by discussing the government’s plan to support people with the cost of energy, including freezing domestic bills at £2,500 and giving out the £400 rebate.
There’s also unit price limits for companies.
Kwarteng said he believes the UK needs a ‘new approach for a new era’ to achieve growth of 2.5%, saying the three important parts of his mini-budget are reforming the economy’s supply side, tax cuts and a responsible approach when it comes to public finances.
As part of this, the Chancellor announced a new bill to overhaul planning restrictions, saying this will ‘unpick the complex patchwork of planning restrictions and EU-derived laws’.
He revealed that benefit claimants will see their benefits reduced if they do not fulfil their job searching commitments.
Kwarteng also confirmed that the cap on bankers’ bonuses will be scrapped, following reports that he would make this one of his first moves.
As well as that, the planned corporation tax increase has been cancelled, and will remain at 19%, with the Chancellor also setting out a series of tax cuts for businesses.
This includes tax cuts for businesses in designated tax sites for 10 years, accelerated tax reliefs for buildings, and no business rates to pay for newly occupied business residences.
Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28
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Drag star George Ward, known as Cherry Valentine, has sadly passed away aged 28, it’s been confirmed this morning.
Ward’s family announced the news, describing his death as a ‘profound shock’.
He appeared on series two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, before going on to front the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.
According to his family, Ward – who was raised in Darlington, County Durham as part of the Traveller community – died on Sunday.
He qualified as a mental health nurse back in 2015 before he began his career in drag.
Ward’s family said in a statement: “It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away.
“This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced.
“As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same.
“We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie.”