More meerkats, wallabies and owls ready for when Pettitts reopens
An attraction which has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to be ready for the summer season has said it could reopen at a day’s notice.
Michael Abbott, owner of Pettit’s in Reedham, has spent more than £1 million on the animal adventure park since buying it three years ago, but has not been able to share the most recent updates with customers.
Mr Abbott has invested in new animals including a new group of meerkats, two snowy owls, three wallabies and some alpaca.
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He has also refurbished the toilet block, and invested in improving accessibility on paths and bridges for pushchairs and wheelchair users between the animal enclosures, rides and other attractions.
He said: “Because we’re closed from November until the end of March we’ve had so many exciting surprises to show our customers, but we haven’t been able to open. Before lockdown we were waiting on a couple of signs – we were 99.9% of the way there. We could now open at a day’s notice if we got the green light to.”
To welcome the new meerkat family Mr Abbott also commissioned a custom enclosure.
“It looks a bit like Pride Rock in the Lion King,” he said. “It means the meerkats can scamper up it and can look right out over the park, and the customers can also see them before getting to the enclosure.”
Mr Abbott and his team have been at the park daily checking on the animals.
“Animal welfare is a priority for us of course,” he said. “It’s a shame we get to come here every day and see all these lovely animals and the park looking so nice, but we can’t welcome our customers. As a family-run business we put our heart and soul into this, so it’s a real shame we can’t share it with them.”
Mr Abbott and his team have also prepared for social distancing.
“We already had a lot of hand cleaning and sanitiser stations,” he said. “But we’ve put in more as well as putting stickers down on the floor to indicate two metre distancing, as well as working out staffing and flow around our coffee and ice cream stands.
“We’re just waiting for the green light, we can’t wait to see our customers again safely.”
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