Kent wildlife sanctuary 'struggling' in second lockdown

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image captionPort Lympne, which has 1,300 animals, says it is struggling to "fulfil its desire" to rescue animals

A Kent animal reserve says it is struggling to keep its wildlife safe due to a second national lockdown.

Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve spends £300,000 a week to operate its park and its sister park Howletts.

It is estimated lockdown will cost £1.2m in lost income and the owners are dependant on donations to keep the animals fed and safe.

Managing director Tony Kelly says the park was "struggling to fulfil its desire" to rescue wildlife.

The parks have 1,300 animals to feed and without the income from visitors and no means of financial support from the government they say it is not "sustainable".

After the first lockdown was introduced, the Port Lympne charity began working on rescuing three underfed lions from a French circus and the rehoming of a family of brown bears from an Andorran zoo.

It is estimated the new homes for the lions and bears will cost £250,000.

'Help and donations'

Mr Kelly said: "With the announcement of the second lockdown, not only are we fighting to feed our animals but we also want to be able to offer the lions Mojito, Timothy and Anthares, and the bears Julio, Enciam, Neu and their babies a permanent and safe home.

"However, without help and donations from the public we are struggling to fulfil our desire to rescue these animals and feed those animals already under our care."

The Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden, Kent, is also running a public fundraiser in a bid to help pay their £3,000-a-day bill.

So far £80,000 has been raised.

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