A PETITION has been launched to save Chester Zoo after news it will remain closed "indefinitely".

The UK's biggest zoo announced on Wednesday that it is "very much fighting for its future" following Government coronavirus legislation changes which enforced the closure of zoos, aquariums and other attractions.

And now a petition - which states "we cannot afford to allow this zoo to close" - has been launched to lobby support for the zoo and put pressure on the Government to withdraw the legislation - and it already has nearly 12,000 signatures after just a few hours of being launched.

It comes after the legislation was specifically changed to include zoos and aquariums as attractions which are not allowed to reopen at the present time. Previously, zoos had not been mentioned in the regulations, leaving it a grey area.

The Government has also changed its schedule on coronavirus, meaning these regulations are likely to stay in place for at least the next four weeks, instead of three as was previously the case.

The charity will continue to lose over £1m a month despite exhaustive efforts to reduce costs and its use of the government’s furlough scheme - with 97 per cent of its revenue generated from visitors.

The zoo says it is ‘Covid secure’ and able to safely limit numbers and enforce social distancing rules – something that public UK beaches, parks and other beauty spots cannot do.

The petition states "Please sign this to encourage the government to support further funding for our beloved zoo and to allow them also to re-open using the social distancing measures that they have already implemented.

"If the government say they must remain closed they must aim to do more to support them.

"We cannot allow this zoo to close. It is more than a zoo. It is a conservation charity helping animals all over the world.

"It provides education for children on these incredible creatures that they look after. It is a place where families and friends come together. It is a place of care and love of animals."

You can sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-save-chester-zoo?recruiter=43486275&recruited_by_id=c66515f0-6a53-0130-6a03-3c764e04a19b&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_term=psf_combo_share_initial