THREE zookeepers from Drusillas Park raised almost £1,000 through sponsored bike ride for a childrens’s hospice and an international animal charity.
Jodie Dryden, Claudia Caballero-Pope and Helena Faunch completed the 50-mile ride on Sunday, August 14, in aid of Chestnut Tree House and the EAZA Ape Campaign.
They set off from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent before returning to the award-winning zoo in East Sussex.
All inexperienced riders, the energetic trio have trained hard over the past few months in order to rise to the challenge.
Wearing bespoke t-shirts they set off from Hythe at 9am, travelling west along the A259 through Rye, Hastings and Bexhill before meeting up with the A27 to Alfriston.
Claudia said, “The journey started off really well with us getting lost on some country roads and having to ask a horse rider for directions within the first 10 miles!”
“There was lots of laughing and joking for 20 to 25 miles or so which soon died out as it got more challenging and we were getting tired.
“The wind was really strong along Rye and Hastings which also didn’t help. We ended on a high though with everyone from Drusillas waiting to wave us in as we arrived back 8 hours later.”
The money will be split equally between the two chosen charities.
Chestnut Tree House is Drusillas Park’s charity of the year and the only hospice for children in Sussex.
Families are never charged for their care and the charity receives little government funding, so relies almost entirely on the help and support of the community.
The remaining half of the money will be donated to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to contribute to their Ape Campaign. This seeks to make a lasting difference to the survival of apes and their habitats in the wild.