A pub that finally opened its on-site zoo to the public has defended itself to an ‘anti-zoo brigade’ on social media.

The Fenn Bell Inn, in St Mary Hoo, Kent, recently became the first pub in the country to be granted a zoo licence.

However, landlord and animal lover Andy Cowell has taken to Facebook to defend itself to who he calls the “anti-everything to do with zoos brigade”.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday evening (June 27), Andy said: “There have been some very negative and quite hateful comments on social media.

“When me and my wife decided to take on the pub and apply for a zoo licence we did discuss the negative comments we would receive and the effect it would have on our family.

“Today's modern day zoos are about education, conservation and research. As a modern day zoo it is our duty to do this and protect all animals and plants for future generations. These people, by attacking us, are truly misguided.

“This is the only and last time I will write such a comment so I will make it quite clear! Stop being a keyboard warrior and come and see us, we will happily discuss any aspect of what we do here with you. You really have let yourselves down by your comments.”

The social media post was met by a torrent of support from locals, customers and other users.

One commenter said: “Please ignore the haters, those with a genuine concern for the animals will contact you. Some people just don't have anything better in their lives other than to trash people who are doing something for themselves - sad really. I for one am certainly looking forward to my next visit, keep up the great work.”

For more information about the long journey the Fenn Bell has made to obtain it’s zoo licence, read this.

Our editor, Matt, was also able to visit the zoo earlier this year before it opened to the public. Watch this video below.