Keepers can’t bear-live it as camera saved from Dudley Zoo animal enclosure

By Thomas Parkes | Dudley | Attractions | Published:

An inquisitive two-year-old girl who dropped her camera into a bear enclosure at Dudley Zoo has had it returned by staff.

Ruby Gartshore accidentally dropped her nan's pink camera into the black bear Inca's enclosure at the zoo after trying to get a snap of the animal.

Staff from the zoo found the camera, still in fully-working order, and reunited it with Ruby's grandmother, Gail Gartshore, who has since sent a donation to buy treats for the 38-year-old bear.

Senior Keeper Sam Grove with the array of treats for the bear.

Senior keeper Sam Grove used the money to buy snacks including kiwi fruit, pineapple, eggs, lemon curd and yogurt for the Asiatic black bear, who is thought to be the oldest in the world.

Mrs Gartshore had been visiting the zoo with her son Lee, his partner Laura and their two girls Ruby, who turns three in November, and Rosie who is nearly one.

She said: “Ruby loves taking pictures and had been using my camera around the zoo. When I picked her up to show her the bear I didn’t realise she was still holding it and it fell out of her hands into the enclosure below.

Ruby taking a picture with the pink camera

“Lee called the zoo offices to report it and I was so grateful when I heard keepers would be able to get the camera for me once the bear was inside.


“It was very kind of staff to post out the camera to me and it’s working perfectly. The donation was a little token of my appreciation so staff could treat the bear to something nice. We had a wonderful day out at the zoo.”

Family fun at the zoo

DZG Assistant Curator Jay Haywood said: “We were happy to help and Senior Keeper Sarah Evans managed to get the camera out of the paddock when Inca was asleep in bed.

“Our receptionist posted it back to the family and it was very kind of them to send in the donation.”

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at


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