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More than 150 students, home-workers and their families enjoyed the online, animal-themed safari - a day-long series of events - held on June 10, generating £1,090 in donations for the cash-strapped Zoo.

Shaunagh Smith, Volunteer Co-ordinator, who co-ordinated the event with colleagues Jo Morison, Mentoring Project Officer, Abbie Johns, Administrator and Amy Butt, Administrative Assistant, Student Futures.

She said: “When the Zoo announced it had been told it would not be able to open, we were heartbroken to hear of their plight, professionally and personally. Not only do our students enjoy volunteering or working there on placement, the Zoo is a vital part of local life; a place we all care about and where we make happy memories with family and friends. We were determined to do our bit as best we could.”

The 30-minute sessions offered fun for all ages, ranging from Animal Yoga, a digital café discussion about sustainability, dance, song, baking bears in shortbread, a quiz, an animal-themed exercise class and a live acoustic session featuring animal-themed songs. Donations are still welcome to:

In addition, Events and Tourism graduates, Ffion Williams and Hayley Shaw, are aiming to walk 10 miles a day (or 200 miles in total) between June 6-16.

Paul Sherlock, a 2012 graduate, is aiming to row a marathon distance of 42,195 meters (26 miles 385 yards­­) on July 4.

International Tourism Management student, Samuel Marshall, found the day-long programme of events informative as well as fun. He said: “Thank you so much for what you have done today. It’s been a really fun day and I am so proud to be a student at the University!”

The Zoo’s Head of Conservation Education and Engagement, Charlotte Smith, also thanked the University, for its vital support. While she explained they were delighted to be told they could re-open, the last three months of closure had done a lot of financial damage and the road to recovery would be slow.

She added: “The love, the passion and the energy shown by so many people all over the UK, has completely humbled us. We’ve been shown overwhelming kindness when times are hard for everyone, not just us, and we’re incredibly grateful to those fundraising on our behalf. Each and every fundraiser is an inspiration and is making a real difference.

“This fight is far from over for us, but we will keep doing everything we can to save our Zoo and continue with our vital mission to prevent extinction.”


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