A tourist attraction near Keswick is preparing to fling open its gates to the public again today following the latest lockdown.
Visitors will be welcomed back to the Lake District Wildlife Park at Bassenthwaite, whose education and marketing co-ordinator Lucy Dunn said: “We can’t wait. We have really missed everybody.”
The latest lockdown has been tough on the park which has still had to fork out for staff wages, animal food and for general upkeep and maintenance without the income from visitors.
“All the animals are still well and healthy and will be out in their enclosures but we can’t currently do our displays and talks because of the coronavirus restrictions,” Lucy added.
A online fundraising page was was set up by the park to help the park with its running costs while closed to the public and £13,000 has flooded in.
“The Crowdfunding campaign has been brilliant. We have had donations from local people and they have been very generous,” Lucy said.
Among the new attractions are two critically-endangered red-crowned cranes relocated from a zoo in the south of England, some Bagot goat kids and a Tamworth pig which is about to give birth.
People will also be eager to catch a glimpse of the flamingos whose “tickled pink” antics featured on the national television news last Thursday night after their release from captivity.
They had been locked up in the specially designed flamingo house since November 14 last year because of the outbreak of avian influenza.
Some of the restrictions were lifted last Thursday and the flap happy birds got their first taste of freedom for months.
“They were a little cautious to come out at first but once they got out there and into their pond they got very excited. There was a lot of stretching of wings and a lot of honking,” said Lucy.