A POPULAR local zoo is struggling to survive due to the coronavirus closure period.

Milnthorpe’s Lakeland Wildlife Oasis zoo had placed stringent health and safety procedures in place but was then forced to close in accordance with governmental guidelines.

The zoo houses over 100 species, many of which are critically endangered in the wild, and has been internationally recognised for its contribution to worldwide conservation programmes.

Co-founder Jo Marsden said: “After coming through the devastating floods, we’re literally fighting for our survival.

“Our highest priority is always our animals’ welfare and our dedicated staff will never compromise. But for food, heat, and veterinary care we need to ensure funding.

“We know we have the most amazing visitors and supporters, so we are calling on anyone who can help make a donation.

“Nothing is too small - every penny really does help.”

The zoo is also a registered charity and welcomes thousands of visitors per year.

It has become popular for spreading its message of conservation and education among the public.

Despite having contingency funds in the event of a temporary shutdown, the zoo will struggle to ensure the health and wellbeing of its animals during a prolonged period of time without business.

The funds were described as being "eaten up quite literally".

Despite an end to business during the lock down, the endangered species housed by Lakeland Wildlife Oasis still require round the clock care and treatment over the coming months.

The zoo has made a call out to all supporters and visitors to assist them in raising £10,000 through a ‘Go Fund Me’ page in order to ensure the survival of the animals as well as the charity itself.

Since making followers aware of their plight, zoo staff have been overwhelmed at their generosity, with £500 being donated by just 13 donors in the first few days.

The zoo wishes to extend its gratitude to all those who have shown their generosity at this difficult time and to members of the public who have visited and supported the zoo over the years.

Any members of the public or local businesses who can make a donation or help fundraise should go to www.gofundme.com/f/safeguardoasis or contact the zoo directly on mail@wildlifeoasis.co.uk.

See ‘Lakeland Wildlife Oasis’ on Facebook where the zoo is posting regular updates on the crisis situation.