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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Buy-out looks for animal magic
Paignton Zoo
The zoo intends to carry on its conservation work
Two South West zoos are to join forces as the owners of Devon's Paignton Zoo prepare to buy Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.

The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, which owns Paignton Zoo, is in advanced talks, with the conditions for the purchase of the Cornwall attraction already agreed.

The Whitley Trust also runs the Slapton Ley nature reserve and two urban nature reserves in Paignton.

Both organisations already share education, research and conservation aims and goals and intend to expand these when they are both part of the Whitley Trust.

It is thought the takeover will be concluded in the summer.

The council will be keen to ensure that the educational and conservation work for which Newquay is renowned continues
Joan Vincent
Restormel Borough Council

Newquay Zoo is a privately-owned zoological garden formerly owned by Restormel Borough Council.

The site is held on a long lease from the council.

Paignton Zoo executive director Simon Tonge said: "Paignton Zoo has many professional connections with Newquay Zoo.

"It's a thriving business and a terrific zoo and our animal and plant collections complement each other.

"Joining forces will enhance the range of conservation and education work we will be able to achieve."

Brighter future

Newquay Zoo co-director Mike Thomas said: "Our work and investment during the last 10 years has ensured that Newquay Zoo is highly regarded and makes a major contribution to conservation, animal care and education.

"It is comforting to know that a highly respected zoo and charitable trust will take care, of and progress, the zoo and all it stands for."

Councillor Joan Vincent, of Restormel Borough Council, said: "The zoo has progressed from strength to strength. It is a jewel in Newquay's crown.

"The new relationship with the Paignton operation will ensure that it can look forward with confidence to an even brighter future.

"The council will be particularly keen to ensure that the educational and conservation work for which Newquay is renowned continues."

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