Scotland’s leading independent courier firm has made a unique New Year charity pledge – by sponsoring the resident eagle owl at a West Lothian wildlife attraction.
Under the charity scheme, which was launched last month, community groups and small charities across the Lothians were encouraged to apply to Eagle Couriers and explain what gift they would need to improve their work in their local area.
The initiative was open to groups that do not usually receive funding from major charities such as the National Lottery, with Eagle promising to pay for and deliver whatever the winning applicant had asked for.
The zoo’s “special delivery” will see Eagle Couriers sponsor an animal enclosure at the attraction, as well as adopting Ollie the eagle owl – who will become the firm’s unofficial mascot.
Fiona Deas, one of Eagle Couriers’ directors, said that they had been dismayed by the plight of the attraction and were delighted to help sponsor the animals.
She said: “We had a lot of requests from community groups, projects and charities across Edinburgh and West Lothian. Many were asking for funding and equipment to help with their work, and we could have chosen any one of them.
“Every request we received was for a worthy cause, so it was a very difficult decision to pick a winner and we are grateful for the great response we had for this scheme.
“However, when we saw how desperate the Five Sisters Zoo was for funding, we decided that they should be the recipient of our ‘special delivery’. It’s a wonderful attraction that has been badly hit by the credit crunch, so we were only to happy to help sponsor their animals.
“The zoo also helps to support local children and people with learning difficulties so this is a very important facility for West Lothian. It would be terrible if it were forced to close, so we were only to happy to help.
“We are going to sponsor a special enclosure at the zoo and we have also decided to adopt their resident eagle owl for the next year. They mentioned him in their application to us, so we are really looking forward to having Ollie as the unofficial Eagle Couriers mascot for the coming year.
“We hope to be doing even more fundraising for the zoo later in the year but, hopefully, this special delivery of funding will help them in the short term.”
Eagle Couriers employs 100 people between Edinburgh and Glasgow and regularly delivers medical equipment and sensitive data across the Lothians for clients including the NHS, BT and the Scottish Government.
The Five Sisters Zoo and wildlife park has been operating for the past five years in West Calder. However, due to the current economic climate and dwindling ticket sales it is now in danger of closure.