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Deeping St James pet refuge is ready to open to visitors

After a long wait, animal lovers will be able to visit a popular Deeping St James pet refuge this weekend.

The Exotic Pet Refuge will be holding its first open day of the year on Sunday, after being unable to do so during lockdown which left the future of the centre in doubt.

Owner Pam Mansfield is delighted to be able to hold the centre’s popular open days once more. She said: “We’ve never done the open days like this but we are so pleased that we can hold the days again. We really need the money to keep the centre going and the open days are needed to bring the money in again.

Exotic Pet Refuge, Deeping St James (32299589)
Exotic Pet Refuge, Deeping St James (32299589)

“I think the animals have missed it. The monkeys will be having a great time on the day!”

In March, when the lockdown was announced, Pam told the Spalding Guardian that without the open days there was a chance the centre would struggle to remain open.

Thanks to kind donations from fellow animal lovers and businesses, Pam has been able to keep the centre running.

There are also some new additions at the refuge who were taken in during lockdown.

Pam said: “We have two new jungle cats here for people to see now. The reptile house will be closed on Sunday but as we are on a four acre site the animal cages are all well spread out, more than two metres apart, meaning everyone will be able to social distance.”

Safety measures will be in place at the refuge, including hand sanitiser, and limited numbers of visitors will be allowed in to the refuge at one time and the tea room will also be closed.

Pam said: “The tea room will be closed and there won’t be any food on offer, other than ice lollies, so we are asking people to bring a picnic with them if they want to.

“There will be cold drinks on sale but no hot drinks, and two of the toilets will be open and they will be cleaned regularly.

“It will be a fun day out for people and we hope that we will be able to do more in the near future. It all depends on how this one goes and also how the virus goes too.”

The open day will take place between 10am and around 4pm on Sunday, August 16. For information and tickets, visit www.tickettailor.com/events/exoticpetrefugh

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