It's set to be a busy year for the team at Dudley Zoo and Castle as they prepare to celebrate their 85th anniversary.
Redevelopment work to the site's orangutan house, giraffe paddock and tiger enclosure all feature in an exciting 12-month plan as bosses continue to invest in the 40-acre site and improve facilities for both animals and visitors.
The brand-new outdoor orangutan enclosure is on track to be completed by Easter with visitors having watched it taking shape over the past twelve months. Construction work will then start on the giraffe house where vacant land at the rear of the house will be transformed into a second paddock.
The two outdoor areas will be linked by the current house, which will be repurposed to allow the giraffes full access to the space, with a new visitor walkway and viewing area created alongside the outside of the building, which it's hoped will be ready for summer.
Later in the year, attention will turn to the tiger enclosure where the outdoor paddock will be extended to include a new pool and stream, as well as an additional climbing frame and platforms. A new indoor tiger house will also be constructed to include visitor viewing and off-show dens.
Furthermore, the team plan to create a new picnic area opposite the sloth enclosure with a view into the off-show 'Big Ben Cavern' as well as securing funding for a Changing Places adult complex care facility to be located by Lorikeet Lookout.
This work sit's alongside the surveys and plans to restore four listed Tectons as well as continuing work alongside Dudley Council to form a maintenance plan for Dudley Castle.