Chester Zoo, which is located in the town of the same name just south of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, is a charity zoo focused on conservation and education which is home to more than 500 different species of over 35,000 animals. And until recently, the zoo was sadly on the precipice of closing its doors permanently, until an unlikely donor stepped in to save the day.
Quite fittingly, the Iceland supermarket chain stepped forward to “adopt” all of the Chester Zoo’s endangered Humboldt penguins.
The penguins recently welcomed a crèche of chicks which were named after NHS hospitals to honor the hardworking doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The chicks were likewise adopted by the grocery chain.
Last week we adopted the Humboldt penguins to help save @chesterzoo 🐧— Iceland Foods ❄️ (@IcelandFoods) June 10, 2020
Today we’ve had the wonderful news that the zoo will open safely from 15 June.
Congratulations to our friends at the zoo and thank you to our amazing store colleagues, who adopted more animals of their own🐒 pic.twitter.com/lqs8TRqVbq
To date, the zoo has raised over £2,470,740 by 121,303 supporters on the Just Giving fundraising website, and are now ready to safely reopen on 15 June.
🙌 YOU DID IT! 🙌— Chester Zoo (@chesterzoo) June 9, 2020
A week ago we were in despair, not knowing when we would reopen, or if we could even survive much longer...
BUT YOUR VOICES HAVE BEEN HEARD! 📣
We have JUST received the news that we’ll be able to open safely from 15 June. pic.twitter.com/R0Nar3Z8Z3
“We were all saddened to hear of Chester Zoo’s recent struggles; it’s the heart of the local community in Chester and a much-loved family favorite,” said Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland Foods. “I remember visiting the zoo as a child and my own kids love going there.”
“We’re proud to be able to lend them our support both through the adoption of the Humboldt penguins on behalf of our colleagues and by lobbying in support of zoos being allowed to reopen soon,” Walker continued. “The conservation work undertaken by the zoo is vital and along with the park itself reopening it is incredibly important that this amazing work is able to continue.”
🐧💙 NHS PENGUIN CHICKS NAMED! 💙🐧— Chester Zoo (@chesterzoo) May 5, 2020
These FIVE fluffy penguin chicks have been named after NHS Heroes and hospitals. Our zookeepers will make sure they're fully cared for, just like the NHS care for us every day...
A little thank you to all of our NHS Heroes, from us 💙 pic.twitter.com/BOYZMYZ5Zq