Zookeepers at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire are keeping morale high despite the coronavirus shutdown by taking on a global dance challenge to raise vital funds for the animals in their care.
Marwell is the latest zoo to take part in the trending TikTok challenge, which involves dancing to Blinding Lights, by The Weekend.
The 140-acre wildlife park is currently closed to the public but behind the scenes zookeepers continue to take care of the animals.
Nominated by Bristol Zoo Gardens, the Marwell team used the opportunity to boost morale – and the charity’s fundraising appeal to cover basic costs such as animal food and bedding while the zoo cannot receive any income from ticket sales.
Organised by hoofstock keeper Adam Ford and bird keeper Simon Inman, the video has so far reached more than 100,000 people on social media. Filmed around the zoo, the video even features some of Marwell’s favourite residents including the Humboldt penguins, Amur tigers and Rothschild’s giraffe.
Adam, said: “We wanted to get involved to bring a bit of light in the uncertain times that we are facing as well as show that zookeepers aren’t just good at looking after animals, we can dance too!
“It was a lot of fun. The best part was when we filmed the group dance in front of Marwell Hall. Everyone really rose to the challenge and it was a fantastic team effort.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the donations and fundraising that has already taken place and we’re so thankful. We’re relying on these donations to continue our hard work caring for the animals at the zoo as well as still providing the funds to continue our conservation work.”
The charity’s fundraising appeal has so far raised more than £29,500.
Lisa Reynolds, Head of Supporter Development, added: “I’m so proud of the Marwell family, taking up this creative challenge and fundraising for the zoo. Everyone got involved where they could and we have raised vital funds at this difficult time. Thank you to all our supporters who have and continue to donate and purchase items from our Amazon Wishlist, your support is astounding.”
To find out more about the zoo’s fundraising appeal go to: www.justgiving.com/campaign/
Alternatively if you would like to buy a gift for the animals from the zoo’s Amazon Wish List, visit https://www.marwell.org.uk/