A documentary crew has been allowed behind the scenes at a Borth zoo which has seen its fair share of highs and lows in recent years.
The Tweedy family purchased Borth Wild Animal Kingdom for £625,000 in May 2017, moving their family 200 miles west from Kent, saying they wanted to make the zoo so much better for the animals living there and they liked a challenge.
Shortly after taking over the zoo and with no previous zoo experience, one of the Animal Kingdom’s lynxes managed to scale an overgrown tree in its enclosure and escape.
The escaped Lynx, Lillith, was eventually shot dead by marksmen around a fortnight after she escaped.
A second lynx also died at the zoo due to what was described as ‘a handling error’ when Nilly, an adult female, twisted whilst in a catch-pole and became asphyxiated.
The deaths caused the temporary closure of the zoo while urgent repairs were carried out and also caused financial hardship for the new owners.
This led to the council issuing a ban on the zoo being allowed to keep category one animals, such as lions and lynxes.
This decision was overturned once the couple had complied with a string of conditions set out by the county council.
Speaking of his passion for the animals in their charge, owner Dean Tweedy said: “Every animal has the right to live out its life with care and dignity and we continue to do our best for any animal needing sanctuary.
“We are not a zoo that houses animals for the benefit of making money. Our facility is open to the public to enable us to finance the care our animals need and to educate people about these amazing animals and their habitat.”
The first part of the three-part documentary will be shown on BBC One on 27 July.
See this week’s south papers for the full story, available in shops and as a digital edition now
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