WEST Somerset beloved Tropiquaria Zoo is set to re-open this weekend.

Zoo director Chris Moiser said the move was possible thanks to the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions coming into place, meaning that Tropiquaria will open on Saturday (July 4) and Sunday to season ticket holders only, and then from Monday, July 6 to the general public.

“Sadly in common with everywhere else the Tropiquaria that re-opens will be different to the one that closed back in March”, Mr Moiser said.

He recommended checking Tropiquaria's Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest updates.

Mr Moiser continued: "Virtually every zoo in the country still does not know if it will survive.

"Some of the biggest ones in the country, because of social distancing cannot let in enough people to cover their daily running costs, and although open or about to open still have bleak futures."

Mr Moiser said sadly it was likely several zoos could be closed by this time next year.

"Please enjoy them while you can, and remember zoos are not just for children," he said.

"Adults too can often find interest and amusement in the animals, and may also be able to reflect on memories while watching favourite animals or visiting favourite parts of the grounds."

Mr Moiser said it had been a manic few months, having been closed since March.

A GoFundMe page had seen donations from Brazil, South Africa, Australia, The Netherlands and Italy, and Mr Moiser himself has been interviewed on a dozen radio stations, several newspapers and a number of TV and film companies.

Mr Moiser concluded: "Despite the future being far from certain we are still very happy to be opening and to see visitors again, as are our animals."