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Wed November 25 2020

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New Isle of Wight home for rescued lions

6 Mar Not the biggest construction job in the world for a company of Willmott Dixon’s stature, but perhaps one of the more fun, if you are not systemically averse to captive wild animals.

Vigo and Kumba
Vigo and Kumba

In this case, however, better a zoo than the circus.

A large team of volunteers from Willmott Dixon team gave up their time to build a new home at the Isle of Wight Zoo on Sandown seafront for two rescued lion brothers.

Vigo and Kumba were saved from a Spanish circus where they spent most of their lives together inside a lorry trailer. Thanks to the efforts of The Wildheart Trust, which runs the zoo, and Willmott Dixon, the two lions have moved into their specially built home that includes a heated sleeping area and reinforced full-height windows that allow the public close-up views when the lions are not in their outdoors enclosure.

Willmott Dixon managing director for the south Richard Poulter explains: “Each year our people volunteer for a major project that brings real value to a community. When we heard about the zoo’s plans, we wanted to donate our skills and time to design and build a new home for Vigo and Kumba, which was also supported by time and materials from our supply chain.

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“We are delighted that our efforts have significantly reduced the cost of the overall relocation project for the zoo. Seeing Vigo and Kumba enjoying their new home is a real treat for our team and we’re proud to be able to help them live out their days in comfort at the Isle of Wight Zoo.”

The zoo’s animal manager Marc Fox said: “After such an unfortunate start to their lives, we are so pleased to be able to provide Kumba and Vigo with really modern, comfortable and engaging new accommodation. They will now have a stimulating environment which caters for all of their needs, while offering visitors to the zoo an awe-inspiring immersive experience when they come nose to nose with these two gentle giants.”

The Construction Index generally does not report charity endeavours, bike rides and cake sales, but justifies running this item on the irresistible beauty of the creatures.

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