DZG fulfils dream

An animal mad schoolgirl had flippin’ good fun when DZG made her dreams come true.

Sophie Billingham, aged 12, joined Birds Section Leader, Kellie Piper to meet and feed her favourite animal in Penguin Bay


Armed with buckets of sprats, Sophie, from Dudley, was introduced to our colony of 75 Humboldts after revealing her request to Steve Ford, who runs the Russells Hall Hospital Wishing Well programme.

web_penguin_dream_0Sophie recently spent two weeks on the children’s ward undergoing tests after having part of her bowel removed when she was younger.

The Summerhill School pupil said: “It was the first time I’ve ever got this close to a penguin, let alone heard them before and they make a really funny noise that I didn’t expect them to make.

“It was a brilliant experience and I loved seeing them waddle.”

Steve said: “I’m so grateful to Dudley Zoological Gardens for making Sophie’s wish come true. Seeing her face light up while she was feeding them meant job well done for me.”

As well as discovering all about Humboldts during the experience, Kellie also presented a penguin-themed DZG goodie bag to Sophie to take home. 


DZG Media and Communications Officer, Rachel Hickman, said: “We were pleased to help Steve in fulfilling Sophie’s wish, although we couldn’t grant the rain to stop pouring while she met our penguins, she still had a great time.”

Pictured above: Sophie Billingham, from Dudley, braves the rain with DZG Birds Section Leader, Kellie Piper to feed the penguins.