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Rutland Zoo Facebook page targeted by hackers



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The owners of a zoo have been left devastated after their Facebook page was targeted by hackers.

Yesterday (December 29), owners of Rutland Zoo, Joanna and Jeremy Aldwinckle, were notified that the organisation's Facebook page, their main source of communication with customers, had been hacked.

Inappropriate images had been posted and the page was taken down for violating Facebook's community guidelines. Joanna's personal account was also hacked.

Mila Kean, Joshua Spary and Joanna Aldwinckle with Bean, the Argus monitor lizard at Rutland Zoo
Mila Kean, Joshua Spary and Joanna Aldwinckle with Bean, the Argus monitor lizard at Rutland Zoo

Joanna said: "My personal account I can start again but we put so much work into the zoo, building up our followship and people leaving great reviews.

"It was our only way of communication while we set up our website."

Last week the zoo issued a plea amid financial difficulties caused by covid.

Joanna Aldwinckle with a raccoon at Rutland Zoo
Joanna Aldwinckle with a raccoon at Rutland Zoo

Relying solely on footfall and currently receiving no financial support or grants, Joanna and Jeremy have become concerned about the zoo's future and the long-term safety of the animals.

The zoo operates as a not-for-profit organisation with a range of reptiles, mammals and birds, many of which have been re-homed.

However, since the hacking incident the pair has seen the GoFundMe page 'dry up' and have become concerned people would think the fundraising is a scam.

The hacking incident has also taken its toll on the pair, causing further stress.

Animals at Rutland Zoo
Animals at Rutland Zoo

Joanna said: "It's distressing having that on Facebook so when people automatically go on videos it would've started playing.

"People, including friends would have seen that.

"I personally feel at a crunch point."

A bird at Rutland Zoo
A bird at Rutland Zoo

The pair is trying to recover their Facebook page but while it is down they are encouraging people to donate to their GoFundMe page.

To donate or find out more, click here.



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