A wildlife park has launched an appeal to help its much-loved puma who is going blind.
Nigel has been a popular attraction at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney but staff have become concerned about his future there on discovering he has deteriorating vision.
They want to build a sensory enclosure for him so that when he does lose his sight he can still have a quality of life.
Steve Nicholls, CEO of the park, said: “It has sadly come to our attention (through a recent illness) that Nigel our much loved Puma has deteriorating vision’ which will cause him severe difficulties in older age if we do not act now.
“Advice from the charity’s research coordinator highlighted what we already knew and that was we had limited time if we were going to help Nigel and his diminishing vision in the long term.
“By constructing this amazing little guy a sensory enclosure, we will be able to offer him a quality of life, while he still has his restricted vision. This will give him a memory of the entire site and with the inclusion of scent marked points he should be able to create a picture of the enclosure before his eye sight disappears altogether.”
With the assistance from Sean Tucker of Evergreen Construction, who is donating all of his company’s time, this unique enclosure will be ‘state of the art’ and will incorporate everything from underfloor heating to built-in weighing scales.
The indoor area will be large enough to carry out medical procedures should he require further treatment and will make it safe for staff to still interact with him should he become incapacitated for any length of time.
Mr Nicholls added: “With your help we can offer this much loved animal a long, full and satisfying quality of life.”
Fundraisers are already taking place, with Eileen Miller aising just over £120 on her lucky dip and tombola.
So far the appeal has raise more than £3,253.
To make a donation, visit the JustGiving page at justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/parrotzoo/helpnigel