Exhilarating experience

When we say our Zoo Keeper for the Day experience gets you close to some of the world’s rarest animals, we mean it – and animal-lover Mark Dunckley can certainly vouch for that!

The 46-year-old dad-of-one from Stourbridge has just spent an exhilarating day with our knowledgeable keeping team which saw him come face-to-face with one of our Sumatran tigers, snow leopards, giraffes, Humboldt penguins, lemurs and Brazilian tapirs.

And Mark, who has done the keeping experience at DZG once before almost three years ago, even got a kiss on the cheek from our female Patagonian sea lions during their afternoon feed.

He also gave our female chimps a drink from a watering can and met our Bornean orangs.

Mark, who was treated to the behind-the-scenes day feeding and caring for our animals as a gift from his wife Gill, said:  “It was just an amazing day. It’s the most exhilarating and incredible experience and I loved it even more the second time around.

“Just to be able to interact with so many exotic animals was fabulous and the sea lions were a real highlight. The girls were so placid and even gave me a peck on the cheek during the afternoon demonstration.

“I will definitely be talking about the day for a very long time and the keepers I shadowed were all so dedicated and gave me so much information. I would have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone.”

All purchases of adult and little zoo keeper experiences go towards our £800,000 fundraising appeal to build a new outdoor enclosure for our four Bornean great apes, Benji, Jorong, Jazz and Sprout, which we’re aiming to start work on within three years. Participants must be 16 or over to feed our big cats.

To find out more about having your own exhilarating day with us, which includes lunch at the Queen Mary Restaurant for adult keeper experiences, CLICK HERE