Today I went with the Unnamed Woman and the Unnamed Children to Dudley Zoo.
We were offered an annual pass for the price of two visits, but wisely chose the option to see it first on regular admission before having the single visit price refunded in exchange for the annual price. We decided not to take out the annual subscription.
It’s not a bad afternoon out, but not necessarily one that needs to be repeated. They have some of the requisite animals, though the lions and tiger were all asleep, as were pretty much all the cats. Come to think of it, so were the sea lions and the tapirs and the solitary capybara. The meerkats were awake, unless there were more than three of them.
Some enclosures appeared to be entirely empty. For example, we saw nary a prairie dog. Many of the enclosures, whether occupied or not, and other areas are a bit run down.
The petting zoo area had three little goats and a bunny. Oh, and a plastic cow with plastic udders filled with water and a bucket underneath. The younger unnamed child had a natural knack for milking.
If you like little monkeys, then you will get your money’s worth. The place is full of little monkeys. Especially squirrel monkeys. Every area of the park seems to have enclosures for little monkeys. One of them is a walk-through area and the keepers have to shoo the little monkeys away from prams, as they want to jump in the baskets underneath and take anything they can grab.
In other places they are behind wire or behind glass. Behind glass there were some pigmy marmosets. One of them saw a little stuffed puppy that the older unnamed child carries with him. It ignored us and fixated on the puppy, which is about the size of the marmoset. We noticed this and moved the puppy up and down and all around on the glass. When we cocked the head of the puppy, the tiny little monkey did the same. It was hilarious.
The only monkeys that disappointed were the chimps. This was because they were apparently on Prozac. They just sat bored in the middle of their enclosure. It was a very big enclosure with lots of things to climb on and lots of open area to run, but they couldn’t be bothered.
If you want to eat while you are there, I would recommend taking a picnic. The food in the cafeteria leaves a bit to be desired. My jacket potato was okay, but the salad was terrible. I only ate it because I was really hungry. The Unnamed Woman had to wait for her food, because they didn’t have any more potatoes cooked. (I would have waited instead, but she ordered mine first and then found out they only had one.) The older unnamed child also had to wait because they also didn’t have the healthy option children’s selection cooked and ready.
The thing that convinced us to avoid the annual pass was the play area. There were slides and climbing frames and swings, but they were surrounded by dirty sand with cigarette butts scattered throughout. It was typical of the general upkeep.