£200k to improve enclosures at Dudley Zoo

Three of the enclosures at Dudley Zoo are in line for a revamp to bring visitors even nearer to the animals

Bosses at the attraction, based on Castle Hill in the town centre, are set to spend almost quarter of a million pounds to revisit the enclosures for their group of gelada baboons and the family of flamingos.

The third project will create an interactive walk-through exhibit where visitors can feed dozens of yellow-backed chattering lorikeets, similar to attractions which are springing up at other zoo's around the country.

Zoo director Derek Grove told the Express and Star that it was part of an on-going programme aimed at making the most of the land available and giving the creatures more space.

“The improvements to these three enclosures are the next stage of our site development plan and will benefit both our animals and our visitors. The facilities for the geladas and flamingos will be extended which in turn provides visitors with an improved and more interesting experience.

“The plans focus on the bottom part of our 40-acre site and will provide additional animals and facilities, from the moment visitors step through the gate,” he added.

The largest part of the project is the £120,000 planned work on the flamingo enclosure which will see a larger indoor area built with a viewing area and a much bigger pool.

The £40,000 scheme to extend the gelada baboon enclosure includes transforming a former shop building into a walk-in viewing area. The paddock, which is next to the zoo’s vintage chairlift, will also be extended up the bank to provide more grazing area.

As part of the plans, the Sulawesi crested macaques would then move into the former baboon home next door and every few months the baboons and macaques would swap enclosures to enable the gelada to be able to graze both banks.

This in turn will enable the critically endangered yellow-breasted capuchins to move out of the small primate house into the old macaque exhibit, providing a larger more complex exhibit for these hugely active, highly intelligent South American primates.

Plans to replace the Monkey Tails walk-through exhibit with the lorikeet experience are estimated to cost £40,000. The current residents, which include titi monkeys and white-Faced saki monkeys, would be rehoused with other primates.


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