AN appeal has been launched to help care for animals at Dudley Zoo during the attraction's coronavirus closure.

Staff at the Castle Hill attraction are continuing to work to look after the animals who call the zoo home, but they now need financial support due to no longer making an income from ticket sales.

The zoo closed on March 22 to ensure the wellbeing of staff and and visitors, one day before the government announced tighter social distancing measures.

With the date for reopening unknown, it is vital that the zoo raises money to support the 1,600 animals who live at the zoo.

A Just Giving page has been set up that has so far raised almost £2,500 to help fund care for the zoo's animals.

A spokesperson for Dudley Zoo and Castle said: "Like many zoos, Dudley Zoo and Castle runs as a non for profit charity relying on ticket sales in order to operate and care for our many endangered species. All the basic functions of the zoo carry on as if the zoo were open with keepers continuing to look after and feed our 1,600-strong animal collection so they receive the best care possible.

"As a charitable organisation and with many supporters of the Zoo asking if they could help, we launched the JustGiving page to try to generate donations to support our work whilst we remain closed.

"We were also quite pleased with the amount of positive feedback we have received from visitors saying they look forward to visiting us again when we are open."

With youngsters learning home due to the closure of schools, the team have also created animal themed activities on its website for children to stay engaged with wildlife during the lockdown.

For more information visit the Dudley Zoo website.