Sedgley zookeeper Lesley puts camels through their paces at Dudley Zoo

Trainee keeper Lesley (then Brindley) at DZG camels section in 1989.

They may be known as the ships of the desert, but closer to home in Dudley, one Sedgley zookeeper is making sure two young Bactrian camels are on the right course.

Dudley Zoo keeper, Lesley Lewis, 39, first worked with camels at the leading tourist attraction at the age of 16.

She says: “Charlie and Jimandi are very big animals, and we need to be able to control them properly.

“They are just two years old and I am training them to respond to hand signals, and rewarding them with a high five and their favourite treat of carrots.
“When they have learned basic commands, we will introduce them to wearing head collars.”
Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) are large, even-toed ungulates native to the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts of Mongolia and Xinjiang with two fat-storing humps.

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.