10th June 2021

On Monday, the infamous South Lakes Safari Zoo closed its doors to visitors following a legal dispute between the management company and its landlord. In a bizarre turn of events, it was reported that zoo staff had turned up to work to find the locks changed and a security team turning away visitors.

The company that owns the land the zoo is on, the Zoo Investment Company, had terminated the Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd's lease, who had been running the zoo since 2017. The true nature of the dispute is yet unknown.

Suffering at South Lakes Safari Zoo has been widely published, following a Freedom for Animals' investigation in 2017. We uncovered shocking abuse and neglect at the zoo which meant that almost 500 animals died between 2013 and 2016. These included an African spurred tortoise who died after being electrocuted by electric fencing and a squirrel monkey whose decomposing body was found behind a radiator.

Despite calls from Freedom for Animals and others to shut down the zoo for good following these findings, the grim centre was permitted to continue under the management of a new company, Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd.

The events of this week continue the sad saga of a horrific zoo that should have been closed down years ago.