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10,500-name petition in last gasp zoo plea

Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is facing closure within two weeks – despite a 10,500-signature petition and campaign by the South London Press pleading for it to stay open.

The paper has labelled the situation as a “crisis point” for the campaign, with the proposed closure meaning the zoo’s 200 animals will be relocated across the country unless a private investor comes forward.

42 Conservative members of Wandsworth Council voted to close the zoo against votes to save it from nine Labour councillors.

This resulted in the South London Press producing a page of the Conservative councillors’ faces on the bodies of monkeys, with the headline: “Making a monkey out of the public.”

Reporter Chris Pragnell has followed the story for the paper. He said: “It is a very unpopular decision. People want to keep the zoo and see improvements made to it.

“We have joined forces with other campaigners to help the petition. We printed coupons in the paper, which readers could send back to us. We have had a few hundred of these – there has been a big response.”

One proposal for transforming the site of the zoo is to make it into a Eden Project-style “Rainforest Experience”.

  • Bob Geldof, Dannii Minogue and So Solid Crew rapper Kaish have all given their support to the campaign to keep the zoo open.

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