2022 is gearing up to be an exciting year for Dudley Zoo and Castle as it celebrates its 85th anniversary!
Anniversary celebrations were kickstarted at the start of the year with the birth of a rare baby giant anteater, the first in DZC’s eight decades! The tiny baby, whose birth surprised keepers back in January, can be spotted clinging to mum, Lyra’s back, where it will mostly remain for the coming months.
And there’s another new face set to arrive ahead of the Easter holidays, with a brand-new animal species being welcomed to the Midlands attraction in the coming weeks.
As well as animal arrivals, there’s plenty of redevelopments planned throughout the year as, pandemic restrictions allowing, work will include renovating the giraffe paddock and tiger enclosure as the zoo continues to invest in the 40-acre site and improve facilities for its animals and visitors.
Construction work is currently ongoing on the site’s new outdoor enclosure for its four Bornean orangutans, Benji, Djimat, Jazz and Sprout, which is expected to be completed by Whitsun.
Later in the year, work is then expected to begin at the giraffe house and paddock, with vacant land at the rear transformed into a second paddock. The giraffe house will also be repurposed to allow the zoo’s three giraffes, Kubwa, Josie and Kira, full access to the indoor space, with a new visitor walkway and viewing area created alongside the outside of the building.
And late Winter time, attention will turn to the tiger enclosure, which will see the outdoor paddock extended to include a new pool and stream, as well as an additional climbing frame and platforms. A new indoor tiger house will also be constructed to include visitor viewing and off-show dens.
Zoo Director Derek Grove, said: “After the past two covid blighted years, we hope to get back to a level of normality in 2022, our 85th anniversary year, as we continue with our 12-month redevelopment plan for the zoo to expand and improve facilities for the animals and our visitors.
“This milestone year holds new opportunities for the animal collection as we drive forward with our conservation and education activities and we look forward to celebrating throughout the coming months with our visitors.”