Why Crowdfund A Cheetah Enclosure at Hoo Farm?
The Cheetah is an instantly recognisable African animal. Alongside, Lions, Zebra and Elephant it's one of the first species that children learn, they come to know the body shape and iconic spots. Being the fastest cat on earth (reaching up to 60 mph), you would think they don't have many predators. Sadly this is not the case.
Cheetah all over Africa and Asia fall predator to other cats, hyaena and, most prominently, humans. Due to poaching, hunting, poisoning, habitat destruction and wild capture the species range from being considered vulnerable to critically endangered. Cheetah are even extinct in parts of Africa they have traditionally existed for many years.
Becky and myself have been to South Africa several times to see the conservation efforts for ourselves and have been thoroughly impressed by their effectiveness. The Cheetah is slowly making a comeback, much of it down to efforts like those that we visited spearheaded by European and British Zoos.
This is a project we are extremely passionate about, to introduce Cheetah to Hoo Farm and actively engage ourselves in these conservation efforts - either through actual participation or through education - has been a pipe dream for many years. 2016, being our 25th Anniversary, seems to finally be the year that we can push ahead with this amazing opportunity. However, we need YOUR help!
A project of this size will cost approximately £100,000. This is simply too much for us to shoulder individually.
Please look into our rewards and donate what you can afford. We will also happily accept any donations of materials or labour - please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporate sponsorship is also welcome - please email email@example.com for information.
Why Cheetahs and what are our plans?
True, Cheetahs aren't the only species in need of help. There are plenty of other endangered species, why are we so passionate about them? Ever since I can remember, I have been passionate about cats - Cheetah especially. Something about their body movement, speed and spots appealed to me. We already have African cats in Servals and Caracal, Cheetahs are the natural next step.
Our enclosure will be a large paddock (approximately 1 acre) with plenty of space for them to run. There will also be high platforms and a waterhole to act as enrichment. The housing will, naturally, conform too all Zoo regulations.
Our Cheetah will be sourced ethically from within the European Zoo system. Through our unique educational talks, we will be able to inform children and adults alike, igniting the same passion inside them to help save the Cheetah that we ourselves feel.
A Bit about the History of Hoo Farm.
Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom was born as Hoo Farm Country Park in March 1991. The farm itself had operated previously purely as a Christmas tree farm since the Dorrell family arrived in 1988.
Having always had a passion for animals and moving out of the dairy industry that had long been their living, Edward and Carolyn Dorrell responded to the requests to visit the few sheep, cows, goats and horses they had by making a go as a farm attraction in 1991. 2 years later Ostrich and Llama arrived and the name change to Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom was complete.
Red Deer and Fallow Deer arrived over the next couple of years and by 1995 the farm was home to Foxes, Raccoons and Owls. Reptiles were the next step in 1998.
Over the next 10 years, we survived foot and mouth, won several awards including a National Farm Attraction of the Year Award in 2002 and welcomed several more species. In 2008, we took the plunge and became Zoo Licenced - thus becoming Shropshires First Zoo.
Since then, we have gone from strength to strength. We now have over 400 animals from 120 unique species, including Lemurs, Meerkats, Servals, Caracal, Warthog, Blackbuck, Capybara, Porcupine, Coati, Raccoons, Ostrich, Deer and even Water Buffalo. The Zoo is now in its second generation with myself and Becky (my wife) working alongside my parents to continue something that we are all extremely passionate about.
We have always 'peddled our own canoe', so to speak. We have never recieved any funding from the lottery, government or elsewhere. All our projects, rescues and day to day activities have to be afforded purely through our ticket sales. For something of this size, we just need a bit of extra help.