Help Support The UK's only Crocodile Zoo at this Difficult Time
UPDATED JAN 2021 - WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP
So here we go again with Lockdown number 3 and whilst we hope this will be the last lockdown, it is a very worrying time for the zoo. We have no idea when we will be allowed to re-open and still have no access to zoo specific funding. Our animals remain our top priority, the majority of whom need to be kept at a tropical climate. Our heating bills, vets fees, maintenance and animal feeds continue as normal, even though it's been almost a year since we had regular, high volume visitors. It's tough, but with your help we'll get through it. Anything you can donate will make a direct difference. Thank you.
When we re-opened in the summer we went to great lengths to make sure the zoo was a safe space for visitors to enjoy. With limited daily numbers to allow for social distancing we enjoyed having visitors back at the zoo. Now we face worrying times, as we close our doors again for the second coronavirus lockdown. This time in winter when our heating costs are at their highest. Yet again we find ourselves with no access to funding and an uncertain future. Anything you can donate will really help towards essential costs for our animals.
HERE'S OUR STORY:
Crocodiles of the World started as one man's dream to make the world a kinder, more compassionate place for crocodiles, especially those species listed as endangered in the wild. Our registered charity, The Foundation, runs the zoo and has gone from strength-to-strength since opening in 2011. The the collection is now home to 19 of the 24 crocodile species, including critically endangered species. With one of the widest collections of croc species in the world, the Foundation is able to contribute to vital research and conservation programs, not only for crocodiles but also other endangered animals including Komodo dragons and Cotton-top tamarins.
Founder Shaun Foggett
A unique visitor experience
Visitors to the zoo, which includes public, special needs groups and educational school visits, are able to come face-to-face with some of the worlds most feared predators in a safe, fun and stimulating environment. Founder Shaun Foggett says; "Crocodiles can teach us so much about the world and enable curriculum topics to be taught in a creative and interactive way. Our daily talks, feeds and encounters enable people to truly appreciate and gain an understanding of these incredible animals who have the most advanced physiology of anything on this planet."
Dedicated to Conservation
Alongside the aim to educate and inspire, Crocodiles of the World is dedicated to the conservation of crocodiles, helping to ensure the continuing survival of all croc species in the wild. Since opening in 2011, the collection has grown year-on-year and is now home to 19 croc species, including a group of 34 Nile crocodiles, Saltwater crocodiles, Cuban crocodiles and American alligators, as well as other reptiles, mammals and birds.
Key achievements in the life of the zoo include:
- 2013 successfully bred American alligators (parents - Albert and Daisy)
- 2014 became the first UK zoo to breed the 'Critically Endangered' Siamese crocodile (from parents Hugo and Rebecca)
- 2015 opened a new Mammal and Education area including Meerkats, Otters, Cotton-top tamarins and Kookaburras
- 2016 approved to be one of only five zoos in the UK to participate in the EAZA EEP for Komodo dragons. The species is listed as 'Vulnerable' in the wild, making Batu a very welcome addition and we support the Komodo Survival Program based in Indonesia.
- 2017 our Vulnerable Fishing Cat, Freddie, arrived at the zoo
- 2017 we became the first UK zoo to breed 'Vulnerable' Tomistoma
- 2018 saw the opening of our 'vulnerable' giant Galapagos Tortoises exhibit, including Dirk - who at 73 is the largest giant tortoise in the UK.
- 2019 built a unique Chinese alligator breeding facility to ensure the survival of this Critically Endangered species.
Along the way, we’ve continued contributing to conservation projects around the world, become a fully-accredited BIAZA zoo, and some of our staff are key figures in several of the BIAZA committees. Some of our animals have Zoo programs (through EAZA) that we participate in along with other European zoos. These include our:
1. Chinese alligators
2. Philippine crocodiles
3. Siamese crocodiles
4. Cuban crocodiles
6. Dwarf crocodiles
7. Slender-snouted crocodiles
8. Cotton-top tamarins
9. Komodo Dragon (opposite)
We also look at how we can support the more endangered species we have within our collection including our Giant Galapagos tortoises, and the partnership we have with the Galapagos Conservation Trust and are exploring ways to support Fishing cats in the wild.
A passionate team
We have an incredible team of animal keepers, visitor experience team and extended team including veterinary care. This isn't a job, it's our passion which makes the current situation even harder. Covid-19 has turned our own mini-world here at the zoo upside down and whilst most staffing costs can hopefully be covered by government schemes, we are not eligible for other government schemes. We are still having to pay for daily essential costs for animal feed, heating and veterinary care; these costs simply cannot be removed.
For example our crocodiles need their enclosures to be heated to a tropical temperature all year round. With no income expected for the foreseeable future we are forced to look to our supporters for help to fund these essential costs.
We know this is a difficult time for so many people, but if you are in a position to help by donating or running your own campaigns we want to reassure you that ALL funds raised will go directly towards the food, heating, veterinary bills and medications for our animals. Crowdfunder is also making it 100% free for community and charity crowdfunding projects during the coronavirus crisis.
Every £1 makes a difference. Your donations (with Gift Aid if you can!) will provide vital support whilst we are closed.
The Foundation started with nothing more than a passion for crocodiles and desire to make a difference. If you’ve visited Crocodiles of the World, you’ll know that sharing this passion for crocodiles exists in all the team. It isn’t really a job – it’s simply what we love to do and so we’d like to thank you for the support you have shown the zoo, helping us grow and helping to contribute towards vital conservation work. This passion will keep us going and we shall continue to share this with you on our website and social media, so please follow us, share our posts, keep in touch and if you can support us through donations we'll be eternally grateful. Don't forget to add Gift Aid please! You can also help by becoming a fundraiser for Crocodiles of the World, we'd love to hear what you're up to.
Your generosity will leave a lasting impression...
Thank you in advance for your support. Your support will never be forgotten and to show our gratitude your name will be listed on a special plaque in the zoo (if you choose to disclose it). A lasting reminder of your generosity when Covid-19 forced the zoo to close.
We can't wait for the day that we can open our doors again and share our incredible animals with you.
P.S If you follow us on Facebook, you'll know we have recently had a surprise addition to the zoo...
Whilst the zoo was closed, we rescued Boris the Bearded dragon from a local field.
In these unusual times we were contacted just before the Easter weekend by a local dog walker to say they'd seen a Bearded dragon in a nearby field. We knew it couldn't be one of our reptiles, but nevertheless two of our keepers went to take a look and sure enough they spotted and rescued a fully grown Beardie. They brought him back to the zoo to be checked over and with a full bill of health they affectionately named him Boris and we attempted to reunite him with his owners, in the hope he'd escaped whilst having a sunbathe in their garden. Despite our best efforts, which included local press, Boris has not been claimed and now remains with us at the zoo - a reminder of the zoo closure and survival against the odds.