Dudley Zoo

Dudley Zoo
Date opened 1937 (1937)
Location Dudley, West Midlands, England
Land area 40 acres (16 ha)
Coordinates 52°30′50.18″N 2°4′37.68″W / 52.5139389°N 2.0771333°W / 52.5139389; -2.0771333Coordinates: 52°30′50.18″N 2°4′37.68″W / 52.5139389°N 2.0771333°W / 52.5139389; -2.0771333
Number of animals 940 (2006)
Number of species 163 (2006)[1]
Major exhibits Tigers, Chimpanzees, Lemur Wood
Website dudleyzoo.org.uk

Dudley Zoological Gardens is a 40-acre (16 ha) zoo located within the grounds of Dudley Castle in the town of Dudley, in the Black Country region of the West Midlands, England. The Dudley Zoological Society was founded in 1935, and the Zoological Gardens opened to the public on 18 May 1937.[2]



One of the art deco structures at Dudley Zoo

The zoo buildings include twelve listed buildings, seven Grade II and five Grade II*, erected in 1937 by Berthold Lubetkin's Tecton Group which employed, among others, structural engineer Ove Arup. Most of the zoo buildings are art deco in style.[3][4][5][6] In 2011, the zoo announced refurbishment and renovation plans for the zoo's listed buildings and parts of the zoo itself; totalling £1.15 million. Initial funding for the project has been met by the Heritage Lottery Fund.[7]


The remains of the castle, a Grade I listed building, date back to the 11th century, and access is included in the zoo entrance fee.


An orangutan
A tiger

In 2003, in common with other urban zoos, Dudley parted with their two female African Elephants so that they could benefit from more spacious surroundings. The remaining large animals include giraffes, tigers, lions, reindeer, wallabies, and 2 snow leopards. Primates are well represented, and there are several aviaries and a reptile house. The zoo has over 1,000 animals from over 200 species; most of these are endangered and are the product of captive breeding programmes.

The Dudley Zoo was once home to Cuddles, a male orca, or Killer Whale. He was housed at the zoo from 1968, until his death in February 1974. The dolphin and whale pools were modified seal and sea lions pools with the walls being built up to create more depth. However, these plans fell foul of the local planning laws and the zoo was ordered to return the pools to the original state. As the zoo was not prepared to invest in new purpose built pools the whale 'Cuddles' was put up for sale, but died before being moved, from long-term gastro-intestinal problems. The pools were returned to their original design and now house sea lions.[8]

The zoo is currently expanding its education department with a variety of workshops available for schools.


African Hunting Dog Amur Tiger Asiatic Lion Asiatic Bear Barbary Sheep Black and White Ruffed Lemur Black Lemur Bornean Orangutan Brazilian Tapir Bush Dog Capybara Chimpanzee Collared Lemur Columbian Black Spider Monkey European Lynx Geoffroy's Cat Goeldi's Monkey Grey Kangaroo Kune Kune Pig Lar Gibbon Mara Meerkat Mongoose Lemur Oriental Short Clawed Otter Parma Wallaby Patagonian Sea Lion Pygmy Marmoset Red-Necked Wallaby Red Panda Red Ruffed Lemur Red Squirrel Reindeer Ring Tailed Lemur Rothschild Giraffe Saki Monkey Snow Leopard Squirrel Monkey Sulawesi Crested Macaque


The Radio 2 presenter Alex Lester worked at Dudley Zoo as an 18 year old student in 1974.


  1. ^ "Dudley Zoo Annual Review 2006". dudleyzoo.org.uk. Dudley Zoo. http://www.dudleyzoo.org.uk/information_ar.htm. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Worldwide plea over Dudley Zoo buildings". bbc.co.uk. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/articles/2009/10/07/_feature.shtml. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Endangered species—Dudley Zoo’s Tectons on WMF Watchlist". riskybuildings.org.uk. The Twentieth Century Society. http://www.riskybuildings.org.uk/casework/reports/2010/endangered-species-dudley-zoos-tectons-on-wmf-watchlist.html. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Building of the Month: Dudley Zoo". riskybuildings.org.uk. The Twentieth Century Society. http://www.riskybuildings.org.uk/botm/archive/2004/dudley-zoo.html. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Flatman, Ben. "Tekton's Dudley Zoo". benflatman.com. Ben Flatman. http://www.benflatman.com/Dudley%20Zoo/Dudley%20Zoo.html. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Short film on Berthold Lubetkin's buildings at Dudley Zoo "Anna Keay speaks to Ben Flatman about Dudley Zoo and Berthold Lubetkin". youtube.com. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAJ0sW36I80 Short film on Berthold Lubetkin's buildings at Dudley Zoo. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "All systems go for zoo revamp". .dudleynews.co.uk. Dudley News. http://www.dudleynews.co.uk/news/9123961.All_systems_go_for_zoo_revamp/. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Dudley Zoo - Dolphins & Whales: 1971 - 1974". marineanimalwelfare.com. http://www.marineanimalwelfare.com/Dolphinaria/Web%20Pages/Dudley%20Zoo.htm. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 

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