Looking back at 2022

As the sun sets on 2022, Zoo Director Derek Grove looks back at a positive year for Dudley Zoo and Castle on the whole.

Not only did we celebrate our 85th anniversary back in May, but it was also the year when we completed the new outside Bornean orangutan enclosure, providing an additional grassed area of 1,300 square meters for our great apes.

Personally, to be part of the team who finally delivered this much improved environment for our orangutans, is well up there on my list of best moments at the zoo.

We’re currently carrying out improvements to the giraffe house and paddock; the parma wallaby exhibit and triple aviaries in a bid to provide the animals with more space and make the exhibits more energy efficient.

And we’ve welcomed new species to the zoo, in the case of Helga, the wolverine, who’s proving a very popular addition and of course, we’ve had a number of notable births, including two Bornean orangutans, giant anteater, Linne’s two-toed sloth, binturong, naked mole rats, two red-tailed green rat snakes, two Bactrian camels and two black swans, amongst others!

Any animal birth is incredibly special, boosting the numbers of their conservation breeding programmes, but with many of this year’s babies a first in the zoo’s history, it certainly does make all the hard work worthwhile.

Alongside the births, we also inevitably have deaths too and losing the majority of our Humboldt penguin colony to a devastating avian malaria outbreak at the start of the year has certainly been one of the zoo’s saddest moments. But we’re looking ahead to the future and hope to start building up the colony again soon.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your support again over these past 12 months and to wish you a Happy New Year.

We hope you’ll join us to see what 2023 has in store!