Sedgley woman leads remembrance silence at Dudley Zoo

Senior keeper and Sedgley resident, Lesley Lewis, takes part in today's two-minute silence

A Sedgley woman joined fellow staff in observing the two-minute silence today, November 11, across the 40-acre site of Dudley Zoological Gardens.

Senior Keeper and proud Sedley resident, Lesley Lewis, led others in the poignant ceremony, which ties in with this Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade.

Peter Suddock, chief executive officer at the zoo says: “All employees, including keepers, gardeners, maintenance, catering and admin staff marked the silence out of respect for those servicemen and women who died for their country.
“It was particularly poignant for several members of staff whose family and friends have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.”
On Sunday, presenters will be muffling visitor announcements to avoid disruption of Dudley’s civic Remembrance Day parade.
Mr Suddock adds: “Our 11am announcements are quite detailed, so we will be making them early to ensure the sound doesn’t carry down the hill to the cenotaph during the wreath-laying ceremony.”
Visit the zoo’s new-look website for more information.

A wild Hallowe’en at Dudley Zoo

The Lewis family, l-r, 12-year-old Harry, a pupil at Ellowes School, mum Lesley and six-year-old Eliza who goes to Cotwall End Primary School, Sedgley. Picture courtesy of Daniel Graves Photography Show.

Dudley Zoo was the venue for some spooky goings-on this Hallowe’en, with many Sedgley residents paying the popular tourist attraction a visit and getting into the spirit.

Six-year-old Eliza Lewis, a pupil at Cotwall End Primary School, was among the many youngsters who took part in a series of activities organised by the zoo for half term Hallowe’en fun.

Among the new arrivals at Dudley Zoo were a witch’s favourite – three giant smooth-sided toads (Bufo guttatus) – which are among the largest in the world.

Presenter, Langan Turner, says: “Toads have a fascinating history; they were traditional companions for witches in the Middle Ages when their proud owners dressed them in silk ribbons and silver bells, and on a literary note there is Paddock the toad in Macbeth, and Trevor, the pet toad owned by Neville Longbottom, in the Harry Potter stories.”
He added: “This species is found in the rainforests of South America and able to reach a body length of 25cm, so they are very much bigger than the common toads in the UK and rather more handsome.”
The new arrivals have been named Porthos, Athos and Aramis.
Hallowe’en half-term events included themed talks and feeds, ending with a Hocus Pocus evening on Monday, October 31.
For adults, there’s still a chance to join the spooks of Dudley Castle with this year’s Carnival of Darkness, due to an extra date being added on Friday, November 4. The carnival is suitable for 16-years and over and will run from 8pm to midnight, with last admissions at 9pm.
To book tickets visit www.dudleyzoo.org.uk or call 01384 215313 for more details.
Keeper Stacey Ball uses the donated pumpkins as enrichment for the some of the site’s 30 free roaming lemurs
Pumpkin fun for lemurs
Local residents wondering what to do with all those specially carved pumpkins might also be interested to learn that these make ideal treats for the zoo’s lemurs, which have been enjoying Hallowe’en treats, thanks to kind supporters who donated pumpkins aplenty.
CEO, Peter Suddock, says: “Lots of people who attended Hallowe’en events throughout half term brought in pumpkins as enrichment for the animals, and most sections from small primates to pandas have been enjoying the gifts.”
Across the site keepers have been filling the hollowed-out vegetables with fruit and treats for the animals to seek out and encouraging them to use the decorative skin as a toy.