The SPCA has had an "unprecedented" number of early sign ups for a skydiving fundraiser after losing close to $1 million in revenue due to Covid-19.
SPCA has been running the annual Jump to the Rescue fundraiser for the better part of a decade, but a spokeswoman said huge numbers had signed up within the first 24 hours of launching this year.
"It's our hope that we get lots of people jumping this year in order to cover some of the fundraising shortfall we have experienced during the Covid-19 crisis - in the four weeks of lockdown SPCA estimated a $1million loss," she said.
Jump to the Rescue is one of SPCA's annual fundraising events in which animal-loving thrillseekers take the plunge with a 13,000 foot tandem skydive.
Chief executive Andrea Midgen said the fundraiser and jump was a good opportunity for people feeling the need to "shake off the shackles of lockdown".
She told the Herald 62 people have already signed up and $15,000 has already been raised, which Midgen said was "definitely" more than at the same stage in previous years.
Last year 141 people in total signed up and 75 did the skydive. They raised $104,000.
Midgen hoped this year the numbers would continue "ramping up".
"It's almost like everybody's quite excited about being able to get outdoors," she said.
Participants have 12 weeks to raise as much money as they can for the 40,000 animals SPCA helps each year. Every fundraiser who raises more than $775 can jump in the event which is scheduled for a weekend in August.
"Having jumped myself in 2019, I can honestly say that the adrenalin rush is something I have never experienced before," she said.
This year, SPCA fundraisers can jump from one of five sites across New Zealand - Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Taupo, and Ashburton.
Those who raise more than $1000 will also receive a T-shirt and naming rights for a kitten up for adoption.
In the case of bad weather on the chosen weekend, fundraisers will be able to jump throughout the month of August as conditions dictate.
Midgen said many of SPCA's events had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, exacerbating financial pressure brought on by the lockdown and closures of op-shops around the country.
She said the skydiving fundraiser was "a really cool way to have a bit of fun, but also be really supportive for the animals".
Those keen to join in can sign up here.