One of Wild Ireland's brown bears. PHOTO: Adam Porter
Opened last year by Buncrana man Killian McLaughlin, Wild Ireland has proved to be a popular hit with locals and tourists alike.
Since opening the sanctuary in Dundrain, Burnfoot, thousands of visitors have been through the Wild Ireland doors. However, Wild Ireland is not immune from the ongoing coronavirus crisis like every other business throughout the country.
“We are just like every other businesses out there now,” Killian told the Inish Times. “We rely on people coming through the doors but unfortunately that can't happen now.
"We took the decision to close up as we didn't feel comfortable having large groups of people coming to Wild Ireland. We closed in the interests of public safety and for the good of the local area.”
Relying on paying customers, Killian said he would continue as his animals, which include bears, wolves, barbary macaques and a lynx need a home.
“Hook or by crook, we'll keep Wild Ireland open. We have got to keep it open for the animals. This is more than just a business, we opened Wild Ireland to save these animals from the awful conditions they were in. They're going nowhere.”
With Wild Ireland being forced to close, Killian said he will be utilising social media to help entertain and education children whilst the schools are closed.
“We'll be using our social media pages a lot more now to keep our name out there and to help parents keep their kids occupied while the schools are still shut.”
Killian will also be using the Wild Ireland Facebook page to allow the public to sponsor animals at the sanctuary. Keep an eye on the Wild Ireland Facebook page.
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