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WATCH: New home ready for meerkats after Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre fire

By Jordan Reynolds | Eccleshall | News | Published:

A new enclosure has been built at a fire-hit wildlife centre after the public rallied round to raise more than £20,000.

Jenny Morgan with one of the meerkats looking forward to moving into a new home that can be seen through the window

Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre in Eccleshall was closed for three days after the blaze in March, which killed three giant tortoises, a meerkat and around 15 fruit bats.

Volunteers worked to clear the damage caused by the fire, which ripped through three enclosures after being started by a fault in the electrical heating system.

WATCH: Enclosure rising from the ashes

Fire-hit enclosure at Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre in Eccleshall rebuilt

And now one of the enclosures which was destroyed or damaged have been rebuilt after more than £24,000 has been raised.

Jenny Morgan, director at the centre, said the finishing touches are being put on the new enclosure for the meerkats which cost £15,000.

She said: "It's very almost done now, it'll be done in a couple of weeks.

Ready to move in

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"Work started on the enclosure in mid April.

"We raised £24,000 in total and the first enclosure cost £15,000.

"We have two more to build but we've got most of the materials so the funds will pretty much cover it."

Inside the new enclosure

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Jenny added: "The footfall has been up and down with the British weather.

"I would like to say a massive thank you to the people who have volunteered and donated as they've allowed us to built a better enclosure than we had before."

Basil the meerkat died in the fire while his partner Sybil escaped and the sanctuary has now found a new mate for her.

Jenny said she was contacted by the owner of a male meerkat who needed a new home, and so Derry was introduced to Sybil after she was fully recovered.

"Derry is getting on brilliantly, he's settling in ever so well," she added.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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