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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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Around 20 people involved in mass brawl ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens

The violence spilled out into the street

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A large group of people were involved in a mass fight ‘with knives’ in Piccadilly Gardens last night.

Around 20 people were caught up in the large brawl on Monday evening, and according to reports some were armed with knives.

The fight took place outside Morrisons on the end of Oldham Street, and happened around 9:30pm.

Witnesses reported seeing some of the suspects carrying knives, although police didn’t recover any from the scene, and busses were forced to stop as the violence spread out onto the road.

Peter McDermott / Geograph

Someone who witnessed the fight said on Twitter: “Piccadilly gardens is the roughest place on earth… a lovely night out helping ruined by a group of young kids kicking each others faces in”.

Officers responded to the incident, but no arrests were made or serious injuries reported.

This incident was the third of serious violence in just a few days.

Saturday afternoon saw another incident outside Morrisons in Piccadilly Gardens, in which a man was slashed in the face.

And on Sunday a brawl involving two tables at Barca bar in Castlefield happened, with some involved arming themselves with weapons like bar furniture and a baseball bat.

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Leading scientists call for end of face masks and social distancing by June

Do you agree?

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Leading scientists have written to the UK government calling for social distancing and face masks to be scrapped from June.

In total 22 scientists have signed the communication, saying that these measures should finish on June 22nd – the same date limits on social contact are set to be scrapped in England.

One of the scientists who has added their name to the letter is Dr Roland Salmon, the former director of the communicable disease centre in Wales.

Nickolay Romensky/Flickr

Dr Salmon told BBC Radio Wales: “I am not venting my frustration but I do think some dialogue is well overdue.

“I have always felt that there has been little credible evidence benefit for many of the measures that we take.”

According to him, the letter was written to encourage the government to focus on protecting vulnerable people rather than the masses as we move forward.

Dr Salmon said we need to deal with the ‘here and now’ when asked about the threat of variants, going on to add that the vaccine has shown it helps prevent severe disease and death.

He added: “We can’t stop living forever while we wait for things to happen”.

Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Scientists who’ve signed the letter include Prof Robert Dingwall from Nottingham Trent University, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG). 

There’s also Prof Anthony Brookes, a geneticist and health data scientist at the University of Leicester, and Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University.

The letter reads: “We are being told simultaneously that we have successful vaccines and that major restrictions on everyday life must continue indefinitely. Both propositions cannot be true.

“We need to give more weight to the data on the actual success of the vaccines and less to theoretical risks of vaccine escape and/or surge in a largely vaccinated population.”



It continues: “Covid-19 no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life, especially where there have been no evaluations and little credible evidence of benefit.

“Measures to reduce or discourage social interaction are extremely damaging to the mental health of citizens; to the education of children and young people; to people with disabilities; to new entrants to the workforce; and to the spontaneous personal connections from which innovation and enterprise emerge.”

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Boris Johnson is regarded as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters

It follows weeks of allegations against the PM

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No10 / Flickr

According to a new poll Boris Johnson is seen as ‘untrustworthy’ by six out of 10 voters in Britain, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer seen as more trustworthy.

The poll from Ipsos MORI was shared by the Evening Standard, and comes after weeks of leaks and allegations about sleaze aimed at the prime minister.

The research found that Mr Johnson is trusted by just 35% of voters and deemed untrustworthy by 59%, while Sir Keir is seen as trustworthy by 42% and is untrusted by 41%.

No10 / Flickr

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “On honesty Boris Johnson is clearly trumped by Keir Starmer, so this is an area of potential risk for him. 

“However, his own supporters still trust him, and the public overall have never seen it as one of his strongest attributes … and as previous leaders such as Tony Blair have shown, you don’t have to be ahead on trust to win elections. 

“The key question is whether and if these stories continue and start to change the public’s overall view on him as PM.”

No10 / Flickr

The poll was taken following weeks of reports about murky donations being used to refurbish the prime minister’s flat, as well as disclosures about covert lobbying.

However, it was undertaken before the most recent allegations that Mr Johnson said he’d rather see ‘bodies pile high’ than have another lockdown, so those reports won’t have been taken into consideration by those polled.

Despite all the recent controversy, the prime minister and government’s net satisfaction hasn’t changed much since March, with both Mr Johnson (44 satisfied/50 dissatisfied) and Sir Keir (36/46) having net negative ratings.

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1090 adults across the UK by telephone from April 16th to the 22nd – you can find full details here.

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