Aspiring zoo keeper aged five raises £5,000 to feed the animals

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Saffron Photo

A group in lion costumes danced in the street, giving everyone a giggle.

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Saffron Photo

TJ Rose, five, was promised that if he managed to raise £5,000 for Colchester Zoo his dad would dance to Katy Perry’s Roar.

Danny and TJ’s godfather Simon Nelson and others got involved.

Aspiring zoo keeper TJ has been so worried about the animals that he wanted to raise money to ensure they’d be fed during the two lockdowns this year.

So he built a replica zoo at the front of his Great Dunmow home.

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Saffron Photo


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His parents had to buy him more play bricks so he could build the enclosures, with labels identifying Kingdom of the Wild, Bears of the Rising Sun, and others.

He hunted through his toy collection to find the right animals.

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He then created signs so that people passing by would understand he needed their donations.

The original goal was to raise £48 so they could feed a rhino.

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Saffron Photo

He stood outside his home for hours at a time, asking people to donate to the cause.

As his efforts were starting to attract attention, mum Kirsty set up a GoFundMe page and spread the word online.

Kirsty said Kina Group then got it touch and kindly offered to double the sum if TJ got to £500. He did. The money then started to snowball.

TJ has now raised just over £5,000 and his new target is £10,000.

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Saffron Photo

Kirsty said her son, a year one pupil at Great Easton Primary, has loved the zoo for years, all his games are about zoos and he is spurred on to learn if it can be related to zoo tasks.

“If you ask him what he wants to be, he wants to be a zookeeper,” she said.

“The zoo is his most favourite place to go since he was eight months old.”

Zoo managing director Dr Tropeano wrote a personal letter to TJ to thank him.

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

TJ Rose of Great Dunmow has been raising money for Colchester Zoo. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Saffron Photo

He said: “Thomas is an incredible young man with an interest in animals but also a strong dedication to ensure the zoo can survive, he is an inspiration. On behalf of everyone at the zoo and the animals, thank you!”

The fundraising page is here.

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