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Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James welcomes visitors back for first time

Animal lovers were out in force last weekend to support a much loved refuge after a very difficult year.

The Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James welcomed about 1,000 people to the open day, which raised thousands of pounds to help care for the animals.

Owner Pam Mansfield was delighted with how the day went.

She said: “We are absolutely chuffed to bits.

“There must have been around 1,000 people there and we’ve raised £8,836 which will keep us going and allow us to pay off all of the bills we’ve accumulated over the past three months.

“It was a great day and we are so thankful for the beautiful weather we had.”

Usually, the centre would hold open days throughout the late spring and summer months but due to last year’s lockdown restrictions this wasn’t possible.

The funding brought in by the events keeps the centre going, allowing Pam and her team of volunteers to care for more than 250 animals.

Pam said: “Unfortunately, due to the restrictions we couldn’t have the reptile house open this time but hopefully if we hold another day after the rest of the restrictions are lifted we should be able to open it.

“We’ve been on a shoestring this last couple of years with covid and the winter is awful as we can’t raise funds.

“However, we are existing and the animals are being fed and looked after which is the main thing.

“We haven’t been able to do as much as we’d like to in terms of building but we have used what we had to build a wallaby pen and a tortoise pen too.”

The refuge has been well supported throughout the pandemic, for which Pam is extremely grateful.

She added: “The general public - and everyone - have been fantastic during covid.

“People have been bringing us fruit and meat for the animals. I can’t thank them enough as they really have been there for us.

“What we do is for the animals but, in turn, the public are there to help us.

“It’s lovely to have the support.”

It is hoped that another open day event will be held in the near future.

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