Dudley Zoo Anniversary

It’s set to be an exciting 12 months for Dudley Zoological Gardens as we celebrate our 80th anniversary!

We’ve got plenty planned to mark the occasion with a £345,000 redevelopment of several enclosures and celebratory events throughout the coming year.

But we’re excited to announce our big anniversary plan to re-open the iconic former Tropical Bird House Tecton, which currently forms part of the lion paddock boundary, as an indoor exhibit for a variety of South American species, including large hairy armadillos, sloths and marmosets and tamarins.

The £50,000 enclosure is set to be unveiled on our actual anniversary on Saturday, May 6 – the day the zoo opened to the public in 1937. 

Zoo Director Derek Grove, said:

What better in our 80th year than bringing an original Tecton back into use.
The grade II listed circular building, with its cantilevered balcony, has been out of use inside for over seven years, having last been used as a children’s discovery area and has been closed as a Tropical Bird House for over 30 years.
It’s no longer practical to display tropical birds within this building so we’re really excited with these plans which will provide another all-weather animal exhibit and will see a range of new species to boost the ever growing collection at DZG.

Other redevelopments including extending homes for our critically endangered yellow-breasted capuchins, snow leopards, parrots, military macaws and cockatoos, as well as building a larger farm barn and a breeding facility for our rainbow lorikeets.

The first stage of the work, expected to be completed in time for the Easter holidays includes a massive £90,000 revamp of the popular farmyard, as well as a £20,000 rebuild of the outdoor area for the capuchins in the Small Primate House.

We'll also be demolishing the former Geoffroy’s cat enclosure to make way for a bigger internal den for the Carpathian lynx at a cost of £25,000, which will include climbing frames and a new visitor viewing area.

Meanwhile three old parrot aviaries will be replaced with one large mixed enclosure, with a glass viewing area for visitors to get closer to the animals. Set to cost £40,000 it is hoped the new aviary will be open for Whitsun.

And in time for the summer holidays, we’ll be unveiling a £100,000 revamp of the snow leopard enclosure, which we’ve fundraised for throughout the last 12 months. The work will include an extension to the outdoor facilities, new glass viewing areas and platforms for the big cats.

A £20,000 overhaul will also take place on the Queen Mary aviary, which will become a breeding facility for our Rainbow lorikeets.

Derek said:

The coming year holds fresh opportunities for the animal collection as we drive forward with our primary aims of conservation, education and research.
The projects chosen to complete in 2017 were all mostly built over 30 years ago and are now in need of modernisation.
The new exhibits will not only be built for purpose, but will provide additional space for the animals as well as improving the experience for our visitors.
We had a super 2016 but 2017 is going to be fantastic and we hope you’ll join our celebrations!We’re hoping to take a trip down Memory Lane for DZG’s 80th anniversary.

Ahead of our May milestone we’re appealing for visitors to send us their favourite zoo memories, photos, film footage or memorabilia which we can feature as part of our anniversary celebrations.

Media and Communications Officer, Rachel Hickman, said:
DZG turning 80 is a fantastic opportunity to not only commemorate our continuing success but also mark the changes over the years.
We know there will have been many special moments made on site during the last eight decades whether you were here as a visitor or member of staff.
We’ll be sharing some of our own memories from the zoo archives, but we’re keen to learn your stories and recollections and hear how Dudley Zoo has played its part in your history.

2017 is set to be an exciting year at DZG with a range of celebratory events planned plus a £345,000 redevelopment programme, which will see work completed on the snow leopard enclosure, farm and aviaries, plus the unveiling of a new £50,000 South American exhibit in the former Tropical Bird House Tecton on our actual anniversary date – Saturday, May 6.

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