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Sir David Attenborough is raising £12 million to save London Zoo from ‘extinction’

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ZSL London Zoo

Sir David Attenborough has stepped in to save London Zoo from closure creating an appeal to raise £12m. 

Everybody’s favourite TV personality and naturalist is at the front of a campaign that is aiming to raise £12m of a £25m rescue package to save the 18,000 animals at London Zoo. 

The famous London Zoo is ‘at risk of extinction’ after being closed for 12 weeks due to lockdown. Eight keepers have been living in a lodge at London Zoo in order to keep it afloat. 

Bosses have struggled, like at many other zoos, to keep up with the huge prices of the animal food bill, which costs £43,500 monthly according to The Times. 

ZSL London Zoo/Facebook

London Zoo opened last week but the bosses say that they are still in ‘dire peril’ due to social distancing rules limiting the capacity of the zoo to a fifth of its normal capacity.

Sir David said: “What happens if you can’t raise the money to keep the animals? What happens if you can’t afford the food? Are we supposed to put them down?

“The immediate prospect of the zoo going financially bust is too awful to think of. Are we, or are we not, a civilised community that it can’t support a zoo?”

The zoo has claimed it is facing the worst crisis it has ever seen since its opening in 1847. The coronavirus lockdown is the second time London Zoo has closed, the first being the Second World War which saw it close the gates for just two weeks.

ZSL London Zoo/Facebook

The Zoological Society of London, a charity who owns the zoo and the zoo in Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, said they lost a whopping £8.5million in profit over the Easter and May holidays due to closure. 

The ZSL’s conservation work is vital and could be jeopardised if funds are not raised urgently. 

The zoo is not eligible for a government bailout and bosses would be unable to repay interest costs on a business interruption scheme loan. 

The charity works with the government to tackle animal rights issues such as the illegal wildlife trade and simultaneously carries out research on diseases transmitted from animals to humans. It’s conservation work also helps to protect endangered species. 

Keepers at the zoo also say that animals have struggled with the lack of human interaction during the lockdown.

Sir David has said it would be a ‘scandal’ if the country can’t support London Zoo which was the first scientific zoo in the world. 

Sir David Attenborough’s career launched after he directed the Zoo Quest series on BBC at the London Zoo.

He said in his appeal: “There are three times as many people living on Earth as when I was collecting those animals. So the natural world has been overtaken by humanity and in the course of that we have denied space for a lot of animals.”

ZSL London Zoo/Facebook

The zoo keepers at London Zoo currently take care of 16 species that are extinct in the wild, plus an additional 42 critically endangered species.

Once it is safe to release animals into their natural habitats, the zoo does so. 

Donate to London Zoo here

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Snow ‘likely’ to hit the North West as ’11-day flurry of snowfall’ forecast in UK from Thursday

Winter is well and truly here.

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Temperatures are expected to continue to drop across the UK with freezing fog, gales of up to 50mph and some snow.

Although the Scottish Highlands are expected to see the worst of the predicted 11-day flurry of snowfall from Thursday, there is a possibility snow could fall ‘almost anywhere’ on the weekend, according to the Met Office.

From Thursday, BBC meteorologist Chris Fawkes, explains there will be murky weather over much of Britain. He said: “We start off with murky weather in the week ahead, but then outbreaks of rain will develop – winds strengthen as the week goes by, it will then turn colder, significantly, through Thursday and Friday.”

A Met Office spokesperson added: “We could see some snow falling in showers almost anywhere across the UK on Friday and next weekend.”

The Met Office forecast for the North West from this Friday, December 4th, until Sunday December 13th predicts ‘unsettled weather’, adding that ‘snow is likely’.

According to them: “The period will start unsettled across all parts of the UK, with areas of heavy rain and showers, locally of soft hail, sleet and snow likely, and possibly more widespread snow over some hills and mountains.

“Often windy, especially around coasts, but in quieter interludes overnight there will remain the potential for some patchy frost, and isolated mist and freezing fog.”

Heavy rain is set to hit the North West this lunchtime before the weather front moves in a southernly direction.

And be prepared to be de-icing your car again this week as the weather is set to get colder, potentially dropping to zero.

Northern England and Scotland are due 18 to 24 days of snow or ice this winter. Chills are more likely than past winters, according to the Met Office, who also predict snow flurries. 

Leading bookmaker, Coral, said this could be the coldest December in the UK. 

 

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Toy store The Entertainer is closing for three days over Christmas to give staff a much-needed break

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Popular toy chain The Entertainer is set to give its staff a three-day break over the festive period. 

This year, the retailer will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and December 27th.

There are 171 The Entertainer shops across the UK and you will still be able to get last-minute prezzies on Christmas Eve between 8am and 5pm. 

The toy store said it wants to give staff the time off to allow for quality time with families. 

With Christmas Eve falling on Thursday this year, it means The Entertainer stores will not reopen again until December 28th, the following Monday.

The three day weekend will give staff ‘quality time’ with their families, and they will also be getting the additional day off as paid leave.

The Entertainer founder and executive chairman Gary Grant said: “Restrictions placed upon people over the last nine months have been incredibly testing.

“With the easing of restrictions for Christmas, we want to give our staff more opportunity to rest together with their families and loved ones for some quality time.”

The Entertainer joins Wickes, Home Bargains, Aldi, M&S and Pets at Home, who have all already confirmed they will remain shut on Boxing Day.

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Andy Burnham calls on Greater Manchester MPs to unite and demand more support for businesses in the region

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Mayor Andy Burnham has written an open letter to Greater Manchester’s MPs, urging them to demand a fair financial support package for business effected by the strictest tier system.  

The letter, dated November 28th, begins with Burnham explaining he is seeking help in ‘raising issues of concern to us in next week’s debate’ in the House of Commons.

He goes on to explain that Greater Manchester being put into the strictest tier in the newly revised tier system – therefore putting Greater Manchester into its fourth month of continuous restrictions – was ‘disappointing, but it was perhaps not surprising’. 

The infection rate in Greater Manchester remains above the average in England, putting significant pressure on hospitals across the region. However, it is falling at a rate faster than anywhere else in the UK, dropping by more than 45% over the last two weeks, compared to 39% across the North West and 13% across the rest of England.

Burnham goes on to explain that rates for over 65s are continuing to fall which points towards Tier 2 for all of Greater Manchester.

Given this, he calls for three critical issues to be raised that will benefit residents and businesses. 

Firstly, a challenge on the December review. Given the figures, there’s a strong chance Greater Manchester will be in a similar position to those areas in Tier 2. However, the government has indicated major changes at the first review in a fortnight will not take place. 

Secondly, he calls for a more balanced approach to the structure of Tier 3. Currently, Burnham explains the system disproportionately hits the hospitality sector, the industry that has spent ‘vast amounts of money’ putting Covid-secure measures in place. He is calling for the government to allow for a more ‘nuanced and flexible strategy’ to allow parts of the economy to reopen.

And finally, he is calling for financial support. He explains that in practice, those areas going into tier 3 will receive no more funding than those in tier 1 or 2.

To finish, Burnham said: “I hope very much that we will able to form a united, cross-party front on these three important issues for Greater Manchester.

“If you would like to discuss this matter with me – or need any further information on these matters – please do not hesitate to contact me. 

“Thank you for all you have been doing to help Greater Manchester through these difficult times and in advance for any help you are able to provide in next week’s crucial debate.” 

You can read the letter in full here.

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