The Wildheart Trust is urgently appealing to all Islanders to help secure its survival. After a disastrous wet and windy winter, which hit the charity very hard, they are now, like everyone, finding themselves at the mercy of Covid-19.
Based at the Isle of Wight Zoo, The Wildheart Trust is highly dependent on visits from the local community and tourists. Visitation funds the charitable work so that the Trust can offer forever homes to abused and unwanted animals, many of whom come from circuses.
In compliance with government guidelines, the Isle of Wight Zoo has had to take the catastrophic decision to close until further notice. The Trust is desperately trying to protect the team and animals while assisting the wider effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Charlotte Corney, Founder and Trustee of The Wildheart Trust, says:
“Our hearts are breaking. The last thing we wanted to do was deny access to our loyal supporters or imagine the closure of the zoo.
“With the real-time threat of this fast moving pandemic we’re left with no choice but to sever a vital funding lifeline. Our devoted team are doing all they can to mitigate against the loss of income. Nevertheless we can only cut our expenditure so far without impacting on the lives of our big cats and other rescued residents.
“As the voice of our animals we’re now forced to send out their cry for help. The island community have loved and supported us for so many years, it’s at the very heart of our Wildheart family. Now, like never before we’ve got to put our trust in them. We’re determined to survive and recover, we cannot fail our animal dependants who have nowhere else to go”.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and during this time of social-distancing and self-isolation The Wildheart Trust will be doing all they can to stay connected to Island residents. They will be communicating as best they can via social media and encouraging people to keep in touch.
Here’s some ways people can help:
- Donate to the SOS- Save Our Sanctuary crowdfunding campaign at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wildheart-trust
- Purchase a gift voucher to be used in the shop, café, or entry into the zoo or for an animal experience once re-open – https://isleofwightzoo.com/shop/products/gift-vouchers
- Adopt one of the animals – https://isleofwightzoo.com/adoptions
- Join the membership scheme – https://isleofwightzoo.com/shop/products/gift-vouchers
Sandra Peelo, an animal carer at The Wildheart Trust, has said:
“Please, if you are reading this and are fortunate enough to be in a position to, help our Wildheart family of animals. I personally cannot express in words the gratitude we would all feel for such support. Pay cuts I can handle, but we cannot see our animals go without. Rest assured the dedicated team here will be keeping all our wonderful animals safe until we can open our doors once more and welcome you back with open arms”.