Heather Jowett had a really special birthday present from husband, Steve a DZG Keeper for a Day experience.
Heather and Steve travelled from Derbyshire for the experience, which actually took place on her birthday and worked alongside keepers to care for primates, big cats, ungulates and birds.
Heather said: “We had a brilliant day, it was really great as it was just the two of us with the keepers especially as we thought we would be part of a group.
“All of the keepers were fantastic and knew so much about their animals. We certainly tested their knowledge with all the questions we asked.
“I’ve watched many TV programmes where people have worked with wild animals and always envied them, so it was amazing that we could do so much on our day at the zoo. It was incredible.”
The couple had a once in a lifetime experience feeding the snow leopards and tigers and said it was amazing to feel the breath of the giraffes as they fed them from the platform. They also fed the penguins and flew an owl and had a great time giving squash to the chimps, who had all lined up in anticipation for their afternoon drink.
But one of the most surprising experiences for them was meeting our Brazilian tapirs.
Heather said: “They loved to be stroked and rolled over onto their side so you could stroke their bellies just like our little Jack Russell dog at home.
“I would definitely recommend anyone who loves animals to have the same experience and definitely to visit DZG as it is a lovely place with some remarkable animals and very friendly keepers.
“I could go on for hours about our experience as it really was a fantastic day. The keeper for a day video on the DZG website gives you a really good taster of what to expect, but the actual day was even better.”