Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Dudley Zoo

Dudley Zoo

With the sun shining and a fleeting heatwave (it was actually hotter than New York in Birmingham), me and Luke headed to Dudley Zoo, which is extremely easy to get to. We got the 126 bus from Broad Street to right outside, so for anyone who lives at The Maltings, it’s a really easy trip.

As a massive animal lover I could practically live on a farm and I’d be fine. I’m not overly excited by exotic animals but am more than willing to pay £15 to be in the remote vicinity of a goat. We spent all day there and walked the whole way round. Dudley Zoo is huge and all I have to say is thank goodness for the giant maps everywhere otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue!

So at around 11am we started round the path past the flamingos and monkeys and giraffes, and got to the personal highlight of the day for me which was the otters! Lots of the different animals didn’t seem that bothered about the people watching and looking at them, but the otters were right up to the glass and were so adorable.

We headed round looking at lots of different animals then we got to walking with the lemurs, where they roam free and you can just walk through as they stand right next to you! This was amazing, but I did find out that when they call to each other, lemurs make the loudest car alarm noise I’ve ever heard. They started calling to each other and everybody jumped out of their skin. This was pretty cool, even though you couldn’t touch the lemurs you were pretty close.

For some animals you could interact with them more. We headed over to the farmyard bit, where there were chickens, goats, pigs. Anyone that knows me knows I have a weird thing about goats. I just think they are absolutely adorable. However, in the flesh the adult ones look like they could seriously injure me, so after standing a foot away and stroking it with my arm stretched out, the girl that worked there ushered me towards a smaller baby goat, which I had full intentions of taking home!

Another form of animal interaction at Dudley Zoo is the bird aviary, where birds fly round in a synthetic forest inside and you can walk among them. The best bit is that for £1 you can buy a little tub of feed which the birds come and eat and sit on your hand when you’re in there. I don’t think the birds were that interested in my food, they were more interested in sitting on my head. I had a bird stuck in my plait for most of the time round the aviary (evidenced in the picture below). Another of the cutest animals at the zoo were the penguins who looked so content and happy, they had a large pool to swim in and out of and were pretty relaxed in the sun!

Days out like this make you revert to being a child extremely quickly. This showed in me via the small train that goes round the zoo! I don’t even know why but the prospect of going on this small train was just so exciting. Another really nice part is the castle in the middle – this is where the bat cave is which is a bit dark and creepy. It’s also got lots of history information for children and if you’re just feeling like sitting and drinking in the sun, the grassy area in the middle of the castle is a sun catcher for a sunny day. You can also walk to the top of the castle wall which I really couldn’t be bothered to do due to the heat (lazy I know).

Dudley Zoo is somewhere I haven’t been since early childhood, so it was really nice to revisit. I would say this day out is extremely good value for money – apart from feed for the birds which is £1, there are no more additional costs around the park. The gift shop isn’t ridiculously expensive either so getting a little keepsake shouldn’t be too hard. However, the food and drinks are quite expensive so I’d recommend taking a little picnic and some drinks just to save the added expense and queuing. There is also a Hungry Horse five minutes away, so me and Luke sat out in the beer garden for the rest of the afternoon stuffing our faces and drinking.

So if you’re looking for an affordable summer day trip, kid friendly, inexpensive and easy to get to from Birmingham, I recommend Dudley Zoo!

R.B


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