COMEDY legend John Cleese has put out an emotional appeal for people from all walks of life to give their backing to a struggling zoo.

With its doors still closed, the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay has admitted it is once again facing an uncertain future.

In a video Cleese, the former Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star calls for supporters to rally behind the attraction - from billionaires to those "of more modest means" - to help the zoo as it gets further into debt

He said: "The National Zoo of Wales, also known as the Welsh Mountain Zoo, continues to face a very uncertain future and the consequences for its animals simply do not bear thinking about. All of course due to Covid-19.

"During three long months of summer closure with absolutely no income, the zoo had to carry on spending huge amounts of money. This was just to feed and care for its animals and to pay its keepers who could not be furloughed.

"Since then there has been repeated and unexpected periods of closure and many other restrictions so this small charity has been forced to take on quite a crushing burden of debt.

"The Welsh Government support, while valued, has been limited. So the zoo has been financially crippled," Cleese added.

"For 57 years the National Zoo of Wales has meant so much to so many people in so many different ways. And that is why I am appealing to anyone for who this wonderful organisation has meant something important over more than half a century.

"Anyone who cares about the fate of its animals and the charity's conservation work and anyone who doesn't want to see Wales lose a national institution forever.

"So whether you are a billionaire or of more modest means or whether you live right next to the zoo in Colwyn Bay or 6,000 miles away in California.

"Whether you can spare £5 or you can even swoop in and secure the zoo's future in one go. Please help now so that children and families of the future will still be able to enjoy this wonderful place and the fantastic animals it cares for."

Cleese, who has a long association with wildlife and zoos, also lent his support to the zoo last summer.

Nick Jackson, CEO at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, said: “Our operating costs are incredibly high and at this time of year, we must find in excess of £120,000 each month to provide for our animals and maintain upkeep of the grounds, combined with all other associated operational costs.

Nick Jackson, Director at the Zoo

Nick Jackson, director at the Zoo

“We are incredibly grateful for the public support that has been given to date. The great lengths our supporters have gone to over the past year has not gone unnoticed and we want to say thank you for the help that we have received to care for our wonderful animals. We also thank two grant-giving charities and Welsh Government for their funding support.

“We must also extend our sincerest thanks to John, who has shown his support for the Zoo charity throughout this pandemic.

"His calls for continued backing during these challenging times are also truly welcomed whilst we do all we can to ensure the future of the Zoo.”

See the video by searching the Welsh Mountain Zoo on Facebook.

Support can continue to be provided in the following ways.


Donate via Facebook: Welsh Mountain Zoo

Send a cheque in the post to Welsh Mountain Zoo, Old Highway, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5UY

Adopt an animal -

Become a member -

Purchase a gift from the zoo’s online shop -

Purchase an item on the zoo’s Amazon wishlist -

Items can also be purchased at Farm and Pet Place stores or (enter zoo address for delivery).