Police donate seized cannabis farm equipment to Blackpool Zoo

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Scaly residents at Blackpool Zoo will be feeling a little cosier this winter thanks to their enclosures being equipped with £5,000 worth of kit seized from a cannabis farm raid.


Raided on October 8 in the Lower Eccleshill area of Darwen, it is the biggest ever cannabis farm to be found in Lancashire.

Police have donated lightning equipment seized from a cannabis farm raid in Darwen to zookeepers in Blackpool. Pic: Lancashire Police

Police have donated lightning equipment seized from a cannabis farm raid in Darwen to zookeepers in Blackpool. Pic: Lancashire Police

Police said the farm contained an estimated 8,000-10,000 plants along with around £20,000 worth of equipment.

Although some of the equipment was in use, police said around a quarter of it was brand new and still boxed-up.

On this occasion, Lancashire Police decided to donate the equipment to Blackpool Zoo.

The animals now benefiting from the items are fish and reptiles – including one breed of fish which is thought to be completely extinct in the wild.

This caiman, similar to an alligator, is one of the scaly residents at Blackpool Zoo which will benefit from the new equipment. Pic: Lancashire Police

This caiman, similar to an alligator, is one of the scaly residents at Blackpool Zoo which will benefit from the new equipment. Pic: Lancashire Police

The equipment includes lamps, reflectors, bulbs, transformers and temperature gauges.

Police said the drugs found at the address have since been destroyed.

PC Phil Tyreman, one of the officers who helped deliver the items to the zoo, said: "We dismantled the set-up and the drugs have now been destroyed, but we didn’t want the equipment found at the premises to go to waste.

"We estimated that the items that could be re-used were probably worth around £5,000 so we’re pleased the Zoo have been able to make good use of them.

"The origin of the items is unusual but it’s all perfectly good kit and we hope the animals that have benefited will be extra cosy this winter!"

Luke Minns, Head Keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been gifted all this fabulous equipment!

"It is now in use in various reptile enclosures and aquariums across the zoo and will help to promote natural behaviours in the animals and encourage plant growth.

"Our butterfly goodeids, which are considered extinct in the wild, along with our caiman, prehensile tailed skinks and red bellied piranhas are all benefitting from the new kit.

"Huge thanks go to Lancashire Police, this donation really is very gratefully received."

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Some bedding found at the cannabis farm in Darwen, which was brand new and unopened, was also donated to charity, while several unused plant pots and canes found at the address were donated to an allotment group in Padiham.

Three people have since been arrested and charged in relation to the cannabis farm.