Tributes after death of popular pet zoo owner

Jenny Taylor pictured at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in 2015. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Jenny Taylor pictured at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in 2015. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Tributes have been paid to a popular pet zoo owner who toured schools and nursing homes to spread her love of animals.

Mrs Jenny’s Ark Pet Zoo and Nature Centre, run by Jenny Taylor, formed part of Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns Leisure and Shopping Village for about seven or eight years.

At her dedicated centre were a collection of friendly guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, rats, pygmy goats, budgies, canaries and bantam chicks, along with an unusual observational bee hive where visitors could see what goes on inside the busy bee community.

Youngsters could also enjoy a quiz trail with prizes and an indoor play area of animal-themed ride-on toys, while Mrs Taylor and staff were on hand to give talks on best practice and advice for those thinking of keeping pets.

But she was also tireless in touring Suffolk to spread her love of animals, where she would visit with rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoises, stick insects and even snakes.

The grandmother would tell the young schoolchildren all about the animals, including where they came from, what they ate and how to care for them. She would even let children hold and feed them.

Mrs Taylor died peacefully at Ipswich Hospital on Wednesday, December 19.

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Maz Robinson, general manager at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, said: “She used to go round to schools and nursing homes. She had a big following.

“She was a lovely woman. She was really bubbly, friendly and approachable. She was very knowledgeable about the animals. To her, the animals were everything.”

Mrs Jenny’s Ark has since been incorporated into the owl sanctuary.

In an obituary notice published in this newspaper, Mrs Taylor’s family said: “She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, especially the children she taught and who enjoyed Mrs Jenny’s Ark for many years.”

A memorial service to remember Mrs Taylor will be held at St Mary’s Church in Gosbeck on Tuesday, January 15 at 3.45pm.

It will preceded by a burial at Greenwood Burial Site in Farnham, near Saxmundham, at 2.30pm that day.

She is survived by her husband Michael and her children Lynnette and Alison, as well as her grandchildren.

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