Record Easter crowds

Staff at DZG are celebrating an amazing Easter after notching up the best visitor figures for decades.

easterweb2

A CRACKING EASTER… Crowds flocked to DZG during the holidays

The second week of the Easter break saw record attendance, with the attraction topping 20,000 visitors over the seven-day period.

Delighted staff said it was the first time in recent history they had broken through the 20,000 mark in a week – getting a total of 20,191 visitors between April 6th and 12th.

Attendance peaked on Bank Holiday Monday with 4,934 people coming through the gates of our 40-acre site.

Zoo Director, Derek Grove, said the bumper figures were a result of the opening of a new £250,000 interactive exhibit in the 11th Century Castle, the arrival of two new sea lions and the glorious sunshine.

He said: “It has been a terrifically busy period for us with the successful opening of the Castle Creatures exhibit, the arrival of our two sea lions from France and on top of that we were blessed with wonderful weather.

“The feedback we’ve had on Castle Creatures has been incredible and our new sea lions are proving hugely popular.

“We have had a wonderful Easter and would like to say a big thank you from everyone at the zoo for the fantastic support we have seen.”

Castle Creatures, which opened at the end of March, tells the story of the Earl of Dudley’s family and houses live animals, showing how medieval folk lived in close proximity with species such as rats and bats.

easterweb2

DZG Senior Keeper Laura Robbins with the bats in the new exhibit, Castle Creatures

easterweb2

Around the same time – and within a few days of each other – two sea lions arrived from the south of France.

Eighteen-year-old female Deisy – the first foreign animal to be transferred to Dudley Zoo via the Channel Tunnel – was brought in to keep 26-year-old Cleo company and build up our sea lion group.

Then a new 14-year-old male sea lion, Oba – who weighs in at 237kg (more than 37 stone) – joined the zoo and has been a star attraction.

Oba, pictured left and below with newly-promoted Senior Keeper Neil Flockhart, was trained at Marineland in Antibes where he mastered several skills including staying on a podium, waving, having a cuddle, giving a kiss and doing an impressive handstand.

A REAL CROWD-PLEASER – Oba is delighting visitors at DZG

easterweb2