Cumbria Safari Zoo Keeper Walks 15 Miles Barefoot ‘In The Shoes Of Animals’ To Raise Money For Park In Lockdown

By Rachael Grealish

With so many of us stuck in lockdown it’s easy to forget we aren’t the only ones suffering – our feathered, furry, and scaly friends are feeling the impact of COVID too.

At Cumbria’s Safari Zoo staff have been working hard through the lockdown to feed and care for over 1,000 animals a day – but with the park being closed since March 23 and being 100 percent self-funded this can be difficult. 

In a bid to raise their diminished income Jack Pearce, the newest member of the animal care team, has set out to walk 15 miles, on June 1, to raise money for the animals. 

This seems pretty simple, but Jack isn’t just walking 15 miles, he’s doing it barefoot – ‘in the shoes of the animals’ – and has currently raised over £500.

Jack’s will be providing animal facts for viewers keeping up with his live updates – his first being ‘elephants actually do hear with their feet.

Unfortunately, Jack isn’t heading with his feet he’s only feeling them as he explained he got off to a rocky start.

“I’m a mile and half from my first checkpoint and my feet already feel it every time I take a step on the ground, there’s stones which quite hurt, and I’ve already stood on a rogue thorn which is a great start to this sort of thing,” Jack joked.

Jack even explained why he chose to do specifically 15 miles barefoot, he said: “Roughly it takes about £15,000 to care for our animals each month – to feed them and with vet bills and such – so I thought 15 seemed like a good number.” 

On average the zoo’s giraffes eat two bales of lucerne each day, our rhinos munch through one quad bale of hay every two days.

Jack Pearce

Also, each and every furred, feathered, scaled and antennae resident at safari zoo enjoys a specialist, quality, diet, approved by consultant vets, ‘as they should do’, Anne Gillard, the Zoo’s health and safety administrator added. 

She said: “With no income coming in, we look to our supporters for help.   

“We know these are uncertain times but any donation no matter how big or small will massively support the ongoing care of our residents.”

The animal care team go live on social media everyday to keep the public updated with the animals progress during these uncertain times.

Along with donating to Jack’s GoFundMe, people wishing to support the Safari Zoo can do so in a variety of ways.

People have the option of sponsoring a meal, e-dopting your favourite animal, buying a ticket to use later in the year or purchasing an animal encounter with a whopping 50% discount.

You can even donate Leafy greens for Stan the Sloth and breakfast for the Red Pandas, all via the zoo’s website.

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