Dudley Zoo fires back after being compared to post-apocalyptic zombie video game by reviewer

An attraction in the Black Country has fired back after it was compared to a post-apocalyptic video game filled with zombie-like creatures by one reviewer.

Dudley Zoo
Dudley Zoo

The reviewer, named only as Roxy, said on Tripadvisor that the visit to Dudley Zoo was "heartbreaking" and looked like it had "been abandoned in a hurry".

And they criticised it for being similar to The Last Of Us video game, slamming the "dirty, drab enclosures" and bored animals – as they vowed to never return.

But the town centre attraction has explained the situation and said the animals are cared for by expert keepers, with their welfare being of the "utmost importance".

The reviewer, who posted in March this year, called the title of their review "Scenes from The Last (Of) Us without the zombies is on par with this place."

They said: "Complete waste of a journey and money, we took our toddler here hoping to have a full exciting day out. We spent an hour at most walking around the zoo and castle, which i have to say was heartbreaking. The animals looked miserable and bored in their dirty, drab enclosures.

"The tigers enclosure is a disgrace, the Giraffes were eating flaking paint from their fences. The orangutans looked incredibly sad and abandoned. When walking through the castle entrance, there is water either side full of green dirty water i assumed there was nothing in there, I was shocked to see seals swimming around in it. It honestly looked like the place had been abandoned in a hurry and the public had just found it again, was not worth paying full price and given there was hardly anything open or accessible due to construction i feel its abysmal to charge customers full price entry tickets."

They concluded the only thing which was a "slight glimmer of hope was the fair", before adding: "It's a shame because it really has the potential to be a great day out for the family, but I feel there is more to be done than some construction to get it to a high standard and worthy of a £60 attraction. The animals' welfare is a concern in my opinion, and we wont be returning again."

But a spokesperson for Dudley Zoo explained: "Many thanks for offering your feedback, it is appreciated and we do take it on board and make adjustments if possible.

"Recent closures over the past two years due to the Covid pandemic did cause delays to our projects and resulted in a detrimental financial impact. However, we are now able to continue with our projects and improvements to the Zoo, particularly the large new outdoor orang[utan] enclosure, which is due for completion in a couple of months.

"This is an exciting project and will result in a much improved area for our orangs but does take many months to complete and we hope that you were able to see the improvements that we have already made. Our prices compare favourably to similar attractions and we have frozen last year's prices to assist with affordability for visitors.

"The water in the sea lion pools is changed regularly. Painted shading on the bottom of the pool structure does create a dark effect in the water, leaves fall from surrounding trees and the sea lions shuffle and drag dirt into the water throughout the day, but it is cleaned daily. The animals welfare is of utmost importance to us.

"They are cared for by expert keepers and we have regular inspections and a lot of positive visitor feedback. The giraffes have 'lick posts' around their enclosure for enrichment, which is probably what you saw them licking. I hope this explanation now gives further understanding of the situation.

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