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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
NEWS JUST IN
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.”