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Work to start on new Dudley Zoo tiger enclosure

By Heather Large | Dudley | Attractions | Published:

Work on a £250,000 extension of the Sumatran tiger enclosure at Dudley Zoo will begin in September, bosses have announced.

Sumatran tigers at Dudley Zoo will be getting a new enclosure

It comes after visitors, who added the ten per cent voluntary donation to their entrance fee, were able to vote for one of three major projects to be carried out in 2018.

Curator Richard Brown said: “We’re planning to start work on the big cat enclosure in September.

“The redevelopment will include levelling the tiger house and rebuilding it with new off-show and on-show dens, which will create new indoor viewing areas if the tigers are inside.

“We’ll also be extending the paddock behind the new house by about a quarter and creating additional climbing frames and platforms plus new viewing opportunities into the enclosure from the bottom.”

Following the success of the token voting system, which the zoo said proved a great way to canvas the opinions of it's visitors, it's restarting it again for 2018.

The first project is adapting the fencing in the chimp enclosure, which will enable keepers to introduce males to the all-female group, as well as extending the climbing frame and creating additional viewing facilities for visitors.

The second proposed development includes reinstating brown bears back into the Tecton Bear Ravine and building separate internal dens at the far end of the paddock as well as providing a large climbing frame.

While they have also added the new separate outdoor enclosure for our Bornean orangutans as the third choice.

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Mr Brown said: “If the vote goes in the favour of the orangutan enclosure this year, then we’re hopeful we can fund the £800,000 project a year earlier than the planned 2020.”

Over the coming 12 months we’re getting set to spend £405,000 on animal projects across the 40-acre site including new exhibits for Binturong, Prevost’s squirrel and naked mole rats, plus a further £150,000 on improving visitor facilities.

The first stage of the work, expected to be completed for February half term, is a £10,000 exhibit for naked mole rats in the chimpanzee indoor viewing area.

The zoo is set to receive a colony from Chester Zoo who will take up residence in the newly built burrow system, which will feature glass-fronted panels so visitors will get a clear view of the weird and wonderful critters.

The second phase of the farmyard revamp is set to be completed in time for the Easter holidays, with a £30,000 refurbishment of the outdoor area including new animals and children’s play equipment.

Other projects include a new £15,000 area in Lemur Wood specifically for the black lemur group, which will allow visitors to get a better view of the family.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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