• Emily Prescott

The Londoner: ‘Zoos should be allowed to open if gardens can’

London Zoo’s director is rallying against the decision to close his attraction again while botanical gardens remain open.

Dominic Jeremy tells The Londoner the closure is putting the zoo under “immense strain” despite the fact that they have “proven that we can deliver a Covid-secure day out”.

“We cannot understand why our two outdoor attractions should close, when paid-for botanical gardens can remain open,” he said.

London Zoo says it has not been able to access the Zoo Support Fund due to the restrictive criteria, saying in a statement “as such, £97 million of the £100 million pledged by the Government remains unallocated”.

A spokesman from the zoo said the animals also suffer from the lack of visitors: “The pygmy goats who were spotted lining up at their gates each day waiting for children to arrive, they really missed the attention.”

TV star Jonathan Ross, who supported the fundraising campaign during the first lockdown, is keen to save the zoo.

Speaking to us, he enthused: “We have had so many memorable trips to the zoo,” reminiscing about a visit with a meal followed by a “sleep in little cabins next to the lion enclosure. Magical!”

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