AN animal-loving six-year-old is embarking on a herculean cycling effort in order to raise money for the ailing Chester Zoo.

Olly Byrne, from Great Sankey, is aiming to cycle 100km over the course of June, with the help of his parents Lyndsey and Chris.

The family, who have been Chester Zoo members since Christmas, initially set a target of £200. That was quickly smashed with over £500 of donations coming in during the fundraiser’s first 24 hours.

The zoo said earlier this week it faces indefinite closure due to the Government's lockdown plans. More than £1million has already been raised to help.

Lyndsey Butterworth, an accounts clerk at Gladstone Brooks, said: “Everyone’s said they’re really proud [of Olly]. I think people wanted to donate [to Chester Zoo] anyway, and this has just spurred them on.

“It’s been very very positive. He’s got a lot of comments saying he’s a superstar!”

Olly, who says he’s taking on the challenge to save the zoo’s newborn animals, completed the first of his rides by doing 6km “in the pouring rain” earlier today, Friday.

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On his motivations, Lyndsey added: “It’s our happy place, [so when we heard about the Zoo’s plans to re-open], we told Olly and it was like the light at the end of the tunnel. He was dead excited.

“When we told him about the news [of the Zoo’s uncertain future], he got upset and said that he had to help the baby animals.”

Olly – who says his favourite animals at the zoo are the orangutans, bats, and lions – then took inspiration from his mum’s new lockdown running routine and dad’s football fitness and decided he would get on his bike around Great Sankey.

If you would like to make a contribution to Olly’s fundraiser, you can at

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