We’re extending our gratitude to our most loyal supporter who has been the only adopter of our guanacos for 30 years!
Irene Lawson first started adopting our guanacos in 1989, when we had a herd of three, and has generously donated towards DZG’s ongoing conservation work every year since – and has recently renewed her adoption for a 31st year!
Irene, from Birmingham, said: “I wanted to adopt something that hadn’t got a lot of adoption plaques and fell for the guanaco as they’ve got lovely faces.”
Back in 2009, staff even named our then 20-year-old male guanaco, Lawson, in recognition of her 20th year of adopting.
Today we have one elderly guanaco remaining, Lawson’s daughter, Rio, who is 22 years-old. She lives in the paddock opposite the farm with our rhea and two goats.
Irene added: “I was thrilled to have a guanaco named after me and still enjoy coming up to see Rio once or twice a year, so I can show my face and say hello.
“I’ve always loved Dudley Zoo. It’s a really, really nice zoo, which is so welcoming and seems to be constantly changing and I’ve been happy to continue supporting each year.”
DZG Marketing Manager Andrea Hales, said: “We are really grateful for Irene’s generous donations over the past three decades and hopefully the next time she visits the zoo she can meet Rio with our keepers.
“Our adopters play an important role at the zoo as all funds raised through the purchase of our packages go towards vital wildlife education, conservation and enrichment for some of the rarest animals in the world.”