DZG’s revamped Reptile House will be officially opened on Easter Saturday by ecologist and TV presenter Mike Dilger.
Mike, a familiar face on BBC1’s The One Show, will open the new-look centre on Saturday, March 30 at 2pm.
The Reptile House, which was originally opened by Sir Peter Scott in May 1956, has undergone a £15,000 facelift to include the remodelling of individual enclosures, installing timber flooring and cladding to walls around the public-viewing corridors and the construction of a new glazed dual entrance.
All work has been carried out in-house by DZG’s Development Team.
CEO?Peter Suddock said:?”Our collection of reptiles is very popular with the public, and while the refurbishment is certainly for the animals’ benefit, it will also make the Reptile House more attractive for visitors.
“We are delighted that Mike has agreed to perform the opening ceremony. We met when he came to DZG in January with The One Show team, to film us coping in heavy snowfall, and the staff loved him.
“He’s familiar with the site and our work and was genuinely interested in our plans for the future and was keen to learn all about our collection.”
He added: “We have a new team of reptile keepers working within the section and they have come up with some strong ideas for the enclosures which they undertook throughout the winter months.
“The revamp will herald a new era for the Reptile House which is now becoming an even bigger favourite with many of our members.”
Mike, who originates from Stafford, and is a former pupil of King Edward VI High School, took his first walk on the wildside around Doxey Marshes where his interest in identifying flowers and birds led to a degree in botany at Nottingham University followed by a masters in ecology.
He said: “As a local lad Dudley Zoo was the first zoo I came to as a youngster with my family and I can remember my visits well.
“I returned in January to film footage for The One Show and was really interested to see all the progress that has been made on site and and am delighted to be back to open the revamped Reptile House.”
The collection includes African spurred tortoise, bearded dragon, boa constrictor, rainbow boa, Burmese python, dwarf crocodile, several types of iguana, spur-thigh tortoise and white throated monitor lizard within its collection.
FLASHBACK TO JANUARY . . .
When Mike and The One Show Team battled the blizzard to join DZG’s keeping staff in feeding our Patagonian sealions.