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Zoo lover Leo, six, steps out in support of Banham Zoo appeal

When a young animal lover from Thetford heard his favourite zoo was facing hard times, he knew he had to step up to the mark.

Six-year-old Leo Smith has been visiting Banham Zoo since he was a baby and is now a season pass holder.

The zoo has launched an urgent Save Our Zoos fund-raising appeal, saying Banham Zoo and Africa Alive were facing an ‘emergency situation’ and that it was only a matter of time before money to operate the zoos ran out.

Leo Smith, six (37156248)
Leo Smith, six (37156248)

Fearing the zoos he loves could close, Leo told his parents Sarah Bartman and Daniel Smith he wanted to do something to help.

“When he decided he wanted to walk, we discussed it with him and told him to set a big distance target tomake people sponsor him. So he went for a target of 50km in June and started walking,” said Sarah.

Starting on June 10, Drake Primary School pupil Leo has been stepping out with his parents every day – but smashed his fund-raising and distance target well ahead of schedule.

Initially hoping to raise £100, he has already received £652 in donations through his JustGiving page.

But Leo is not stopping now. He is continuing to embark on his walks daily for the rest of the month and hopes sponsorship will continue to come in.

Sarah said his longest walk was 13km, which Leo completed in three hours while dressed as a tiger.

“We are very proud of Leo – he has done amazingly well. He is so pleased with what he has achieved and to be able to help the zoo and their animals,” added Sarah.

Support Leo’s efforts at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Leo-Walk-50k

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