The Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre has raised a record amount of cash for a charity based in South Africa working to protect critically endangered vultures.
A fundraising evening earlier this month raised £1220, bringing the total raised so far to £5753 for VulPro.
Bird trainer, Justine Lig, will now shave her head on International Vulture Awareness Day, on 6th September, after she came up with the idea if they reached a target of £5000 in sponsorship and donations - which has now been achieved.
The team, which also includes Ben Coulson and Heather Scott, organised a Vulture Fundraising Evening of live entertainment and a popular charity auction to help reach the target.
Zoo manager, Andrew Reeve, said: “In recognition of Justine’s passion for the conservation of vultures, her hard work and amazing fundraising efforts, the park’s owner is funding a two-week trip to VulPro in South Africa so that she can volunteer with the team and help practically with the work they are doing too.”
During daily free-flying bird displays, the team have also been fundraising with the help of two tiny Hahn’s Macaw brothers, Ché and Esteban, who take donations from the fingertips of audience members, and have been selling charity wristbands.
Kerri Wolter, founder of VulPro, said: “Justine’s passion and commitment to help with the work we are doing is inspiring to me personally as well as to VulPro.”
“We hope others will be inspired to know that one person’s efforts really can make a difference in the world.”
“Vultures are very misunderstood and underappreciated so raising awareness in such a unique and brave way is brilliant to help conservation efforts. We are extremely grateful to Justine and look forward to working with her here in Africa.”
Colleagues, Ben and Heather, will wield the clippers live on Saturday 6th September in the free-flying bird shows at 12.30pm and 2.30pm, starting with a Mohican!
Normal admission charges apply.
Visitors can sponsor Justine on the day or donate by visiting www.vulpro.co.uk.