THE owners of Dalton’s zoo have addressed fears of a move to take over the licence for the site.

A public notice has been released that states the Zoo Investment Company’s (ZIC) intention to make an application to council bosses to operate the zoo.

The company bought South Lakes Safari Zoo from previous freeholder David River, formerly Rivera.

Barrow Council recently approved a licence for the zoo’s operators, the Cumbria Zoo Company, for another six years.

But the initial licence application was made by ZIC a precaution in case the Cumbria Zoo Company licence was denied.

A notice said: “The Zoo Investment Company Limited hereby give notice that in not less than two months after publication of this notice we intend to make application to Barrow Borough Council for a licence to operate a proposed zoo at Melton Terrace, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0LU.

“A written notice of the intention to make application for a zoo licence, giving details about the proposed zoo, has been sent to the said council.”

One party can legally hold a licence for the zoo.

South Lakes Safari Zoo boss Karen Brewer said she feared ZIC was looking to become the new operators of the zoo.

She said: “Safari Zoo is very much ours.

“We have a six year licence and this doesn’t matter to us.

“We’re going nowhere.

“It’s a fantastic zoo and it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

The Zoo Investment Company revealed last week that Mr Rivera had made an agent for the business to allow him to visit the zoo to perform an audit of assets in the final stage of the sale.

He has not other association with the company and will have no ongoing role.

The former zoo owner was due to visit the site on Thursday.

But he did not turn up as planned, Mrs Brewer said.

She said the current operators intended to stay for at the least the next six years and had several developments in the works at the zoo moving on from the pandemic.