The company that operates Cumbria Safari Zoo has secured a court victory that will allow the attraction to stay open to the public and ensure animal welfare is continued.

Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd began urgent legal proceedings on Monday after zookeepers arrived that morning to discover they had been locked out of the premises by bailiffs acting on behalf of its landlord Zoo Investment Company Ltd.

An interim injunction was granted by the High Court late on that Monday afternoon allowing Cumbria Zoo Company temporary access to the zoo, enabling its team to provide care to the animals and allowing the attraction to reopen to the public.

The parties returned to the High Court yesterday afternoon (Thursday, June 10) when the judge confirmed his interim decision would remain in place, allowing Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd to continue to occupy and operate the zoo while the dispute with the landlord, which gave rise to the bailiff action on 7 June 2021, is resolved. 

Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, which is owned and operated by Karen Brewer, was represented by North West law firm Harrison Drury solicitors.

Alex Walmsley, property litigation solicitor at Harrison Drury, said: “The primary concern of our client in all of this has been the welfare of the animals at the zoo and we’re incredibly pleased we’ve been able to assist Karen and her team to regain access and ensuring that the care for these precious animals remains in place and is undisrupted.

“We’re pleased to have been able to act so swiftly, getting a result that maintains the animals’ welfare, protects our client’s business, and ensures this important Cumbria tourist attraction remains open to the public.”

Karen Brewer, director of Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, said: “My team and I are delighted this urgent issue has been resolved and we want people to know that the animals are all safe and being well cared for and that the zoo is and will remain open.

“We can now get back to what’s really important to us, which is ensuring the highest possible animal welfare standards at the zoo and allowing our visitors to experience and learn more about these wonderful animals and how the work of zoos like ours support animal conservation around the world.”

Cumbria Zoo Company took over operating the zoo in 2017 and was granted a six-year renewal of its zoo licence by Barrow Borough Council in May 2021.

The land where the zoo operates was sold by the previous owners to The Zoo Investment Company Ltd (ZIC) earlier this year, however it is Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd that is the licensed operator for the zoo itself.

Cumbria Safari Zoo is based in Lindal and is home to over a thousand animals including lions, tigers, rhinos, and lemurs, as well as other mammals, birds, and reptiles.