A day to remember

A couple from Birmingham had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they met some of the rarest animals in the world at DZG.

Jonathan Hamilton treated his partner, Anthony Wright, to the gift for Christmas after discovering all about the day on the zoo’s website – although the pair said the actual experience far exceeded the descriptions!


Jonathan said: “From the moment we walked through the gate up until the moment we left we were made to feel special. All the zoo keepers were extremely friendly, chatty and informative and were willing to answer any questions about the zoo and the animals, although we didn’t realise how close we would actually get to them.


“Anthony was very pleased when one of the zoo keepers allowed him to feed the giraffes, after mentioning they were his favourite animal of all time, although he became totally smitten with Sprout, the baby orang utan when we got to feed her and her mum at the end of the day.

“She was very adorable and took great delight in throwing food back at us that wasn’t to her taste – especially onions and potatoes! Anthony enjoyed throwing the food back in her enclosure, only for it to be thrown back at him and we have a fabulous picture of her pulling a face at us.

“As for me, I really enjoyed being able to get up close with a snow leopard and having the privilege of feeding it. Watching the keeper with the leopard was like watching a domestic cat with its owner. It would have been so easy to stroke this gorgeous animal if we hadn’t seen the size of its claws and teeth when it jumped up at the bars! It was lovely being able to get a close look at the baby snow leopard too.

“However we were both really surprised when we met the tapirs. We did not realise how tame and laid back these animals are. It felt very special being able to sit next to three quite large animals and stroke their stomachs. Seeing them roll over for more when being tickled was definitely a moment that will stay with us.”