A zoo will close for good next month after its owners announced they were retiring.

Tropical Wings Zoo, in South Woodham Ferrers, will close on December 3.

The zoo, run by Dennis and Rona Strong, will now find new homes for its animals before the closure.

In a statement the owners said they had taken the difficult decision as the result of ill health.

It said: “It is with great sadness that we will be closing our wonderful zoo forever on December 3.

“We have been on a fantastic journey with what has become a business to be very proud of, but sadly, due to ill health, the time has come for us to retire.

“We have not taken this decision lightly but circumstances have dictated this action.

“We would like to thank everyone that has helped over the years to make our zoo the wonderful venue it has become and for your continued support during this difficult time.

“Over the coming months our priority will be working to find all our wonderful animals new and caring homes within the zoo community.

“We would like to take this opportunity to assure all of our season ticket holders that reimbursements by post will be processed from December 4 but please bear with us as I’m sure you will all understand there is a large number to process.”

People should call 01245 425394 to discuss refunds.