After several high-profile news items depicting various high street retailers sponsoring the animals at Chester Zoo, the zoo has finally been given the go-ahead to re-open on Monday 15th of June.
Iceland have sponsored the penguins, Newcastle United sponsored the zebras, Kellogg’s have sponsored the tigers and Weatherspoons sponsored the toilets. But only those on the far side of the park that take an hour to reach. This was just enough of a life ring to keep the zoo afloat. There were fears that in order to feed the lions, some of the zebras would need to have their paddock changed. The zookeepers admitted they didn’t know what wild tigers ate, but they know it’s not zebra. The also-striped big cats turned their nose up at one, pawing at it a little bit and staring at the zookeeper as though to say “What’s this filth, Karen?”
But at the last minute the six-hundredth and twenty-third U-turn from the government saved the day for these largely outdoor attractions that are quite like a park, but with wildlife that can kill.
“We’re pleased to announce that we can now re-open,” said head zookeeper, Zoe Keeler. “We think it might be the blond orang-utan’s presence in Downing Street that swung the change of heart.”
The blond orang-utan is not referring to Boris Johnson, but instead the largest of the animals Chester Zoo sent to Downing Street for feeding. He is called Joris Bonson, so in no way related to the Prime Minister.
“We started small,” Zoe said. “Back in May when we knew we had a problem, we posted our collection of fire ants to 10 Downing Street with instructions on how they should be kept and what they should be fed.”
Over the subsequent weeks, increasingly large animals were sent to the head offices of British government. The giant centipede, capybaras and okapis were all sent before Joris.
“We never thought it would happen,” Zoe said. “We were still worried and wondering if we should spend the last of our money on feeding the lemurs or on postage for one of the elephants.”
However, in a press conference earlier this week, the government made the following announcement:
“We have decided to allow all zoos to open,” said Massive Handcock. “This was the Prime Minister’s idea. He made it whilst swinging from the chandelier in the CoBra meeting room.”
Downing Street have returned all of the animals to Chester Zoo, except for Joris who is said to be fit, healthy and an excellent stand-in for the Prime Minister.