Kirkby man becomes zoo keeper for day

Animal crazy Kirkby man had his dream come true when he became a zoo keeper for the day to celebrate his birthday.

Craig Smallman, of Forster Street, worked with saki monkeys and Humboldt penguins at Dudley Zoological Gardens to mark his 25th birthday.

He said: “My partner bought me the experience and it was a brilliant way to spend my birthday. My favourite part was feeding the penguins but everything was excellent and the staff were really friendly.

“I will certainly remember my 25th birthday. It was such a memorable experience.”

DZG chief executive Peter Suddock said: “Craig had an amazing time. We introduced Keeper For a

Day and Little Zoo Keepers for eight to 13 year olds as an experience a few years ago and it has proved so successful that staff are kept busy with requests from all over the country.”

Keepers for a Day discover what goes on behind the scenes at DZG, one of the UK’s top zoos. Throughout the session they help staff with their daily duties including feeding, cleaning and caring for the collection, many of which are endangered species.

There’s a chance to catch up with the action in Lemur Wood before finding out more about DZG’s larger animals, including Brazilian tapirs and Rothschild giraffes. Other sections covered include Sumatran tigers,

Asiatic lions, Humboldt penguins, red pandas, plus reptiles – you choose!

Mr Suddock added: “It’s a unique opportunity to get close to some of the rarest animals on the planetand work alongside our keepers with a wide range of exotic and endangered species.”