COLCHESTER Zoo has revealed a reopening date is "just around the corner."

The popular attraction has suffered a devastating loss of income across both national coronavirus lockdown periods.

Zoo bosses admitted during the first enforced closure earlier this year they were facing an uncertain future and an emergency operating fund was launched to ensure they survived.

And the zoo was already operating under reduced numbers to adhere to Tier Two restrictions in force in Essex.

Dr Dominique Tropeano, the zoo's owner, said staff felt as if they had been "liberated from the grips of a nasty dream."

He said: "During the lockdown, we saw a return to the deadly quietness and lifelessness we had previously experienced, maybe to a lesser degree as the four weeks of lockdown have gone fairly rapidly.

"However, today the smiles have returned, the greater energy is apparent, and everyone is talking about next week.

"So, it’s a big weight off our mind.

"We have managed to survive, we are here looking after our animals the way we must and soon, we hope to be able to also look after many more new arrivals."

Dr Tropeano thanked the public for their "tremendous" support over the past few months.

"Every penny will help us to survive in what is expected to be, a long and challenging winter.

"I hope that from now on we can concentrate on our job of looking after our animals and the public rather than worrying if we will survive or not."

To donate to the zoo's operating fund, visit