THE Isle of Wight Zoo may be temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but the public will still be able to keep up with the antics of lions Vigo and Kumba.

The rescued brothers recently moved into their new accommodation which came complete with a heated sleeping area and specially reinforced windows allowing the public, when the zoo is open, face to face encounters with the king-sized duo.

Thanks to the donation of two webcams by Island IT company Dataswift, the lions can be viewed day or night as the cameras cover their sleeping quarters and outside enclosure.

Access to the live footage is available at

Lawrence Bates, the zoo’s head of zoological operations, said: "As well as being fantastic for the public, the cameras are a great tool for keepers who can now watch the boys from the comfort of their own home. Beware though, the pastime is incredibly addictive.”

Keepers will be feeding the lions at noon every day, and there will also be a daily Facebook update at 2pm.

Vigo and Kumba were brought to the zoo last year after being saved from a Spanish circus where they spent most of their lives cooped up together in a lorry trailer.

When they were young they were neutered, beaten, and had their claws cruelly and painfully removed.

Since the boys’ arrival, the zoo's Wildheart Trust has been working on fundraising and sponsorship to develop the new supersized accommodation. That fundraising is now focused on supporting the Trust to continue to look after the animals during the closure.

Lawrence added: “It costs £1,000 a month to care for our big cats, so a period with no income is daunting for us. We really need the public’s help to get through.”

The Trust has asked for donations to be made to its crowdfunding campaign, which can be visited at

A donation area has been set up at the entrance to the zoo for those wishing to donate food for the animals.