SOUTH Lakes Safari Zoo founder David Gill and his wife have been reappointed as sole directors of the zoo - with the four new directors being terminated from their positions.

In a strange twist, despite vowing that Mr Gill would no longer be involved in the running of the zoo at a formal licensing meeting just three weeks ago, the company has yesterday terminated the four directors and reappointed Mr Gill and his wife Frieda Rivera-Schreiber.

The previous four directors - Karen Brewer, Jayne Birkett, Claire Lambert and Stewart Lambert have all been terminated. Mrs Brewer had been head of the new management structure appointed to take over the running of the zoo to comply with inspectors' and Barrow Borough Council's concerns about Mr Gill.

The Evening Mail understands that Barrow Borough Council is aware of the change in directors.

Barrow Borough Council rejected an application to the renew the licence of South Lakes Safari Zoo over health and safety and management concerns.

South Lakes Safari Zoo applied to renew its licence in January 2016 but Barrow Borough Council have been forced to consider whether or not the attraction can be allowed to stay open after concerns relating to its owner, David Gill.

The council decided to reject Mr Gill's application but the zoo now has six months to reapply in its own right. It will stay open during this time.

On the first day of the hearing, July 5, in a text message sent to an Evening Mail reporter, Mr Gill claimed he was "now retired".

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However, on July 25, the changes to the directors of the attraction was published by Companies House, calling into question Mr Gill's insistence that he is not involved in the day-to-day running of the zoo.