Animal magic
Devon Life|August 2020
Animal magic
A Devon wildlife park tells SALLY LEARMOUTH how the kindness of strangers helped them survive lockdown without any income to feed their 500 animals

Axe Valley Wildlife Park nestles on the Dorset/Devon border and is home to a wide variety of animals, from 30 snakes (including Davina, the 8ft boa constrictor) and spiders in the warm rooms to a zebra, meerkats, ringtailed lemurs, Eurasian Lynx, cranes, flamingos, peacocks and resident favorite Archie the Armadillo.

But with the average bill for feeding and caring for the animals coming in at around £2,000 a week, lockdown left the family-run attraction on the brink of uncertainty.

Owners Andrew and Jayne Collier are former dairy farmers who diversified, building the park from scratch in the last 15 years. They say: “Having been closed all winter we had high hopes for a successful 2020 before Covid-19 completely ruined this prospect.


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August 2020