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MP takes family to Dudley Zoo for reopening

By Dayna Farrington | Dudley | Attractions | Published:

An MP has celebrated the reopening of a zoo with a visit to the attraction with his family.

Jodie Dryden, Andrea Hales and Richard Brown welcome visitors back to Dudley Zoo

Dudley Zoo and Castle officially reopened its doors to the public again on Monday, after they closed amid the coronavirus crisis in mid-March. Strict social distancing measures are in place around the site and the number of visitors are limited on a daily basis.

On Monday, Dudley North MP Marco Longhi visited the Castle Hill attraction with his family after highlighting the plight of the zoo in the Commons last week.

Speaking during an adjournment debate in Parliament, He said: Some visitor attractions have been able to close doors and retain business viability because of the generous furlough scheme and other financial help have covered most of their overheads while operational costs reduced to zero.

“But zoos have still needed to retain many operational functions to keep their animals alive. My own zoo in Dudley has already lost £1.2 million since the start of lockdown and was unable to apply for the funding packages for zoos because they had retained through necessity more than six weeks’ reserves.”

Marco Longhi

After his visit on Monday, Marco added: “I’m delighted that Dudley Zoo and Castle have been allowed to reopen. I have received countless emails and social media messages from constituents keen to see the zoo reopen, and to offer support to the vital conservation work.

“I was pleased to learn that the zoo has already sold out to visitors in its opening week, showing the huge support from the public. I would urge people to continue to support and visit.

“It was a pleasure it was to meet all the staff I did meet and how I want to congratulate them all for the dedication they have shown towards their work supporting all the animals at the zoo throughout this difficult time.

“I will continue to lobby Government to revisit the support package for zoos and wildlife parks to help.”

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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