TICKETS have gone on sale ahead of the re-opening of Dudley Zoo and Castle which will be welcoming back visitors from Monday April 12.

Zoo staff and keepers have been getting excited about the re-opening - with the Castle Hill attraction having been closed since January 5.

Derek Grove, director of the zoo, said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome back members of the public on site in less than a fortnight.

“This is the third and longest lockdown we’ve endured in a year, which has again been incredibly costly for a charity such our ours.

“In the last 12 months we’ve lost around £800,000, so reopening can’t come soon enough as we’ve carried on as normal with our usual day-to-day care of our exotic animal collection.

“During the last few months it’s been really encouraging to receive lots of messages from visitors who are looking forward to returning and seeing all of our recent arrivals and development work across the site."

He said visitors will find lots of new things to see including a Colombian black spider monkey, gelada, ring-tailed lemur, Bactrian camel and Barbary sheep and he added: "We’ve worked hard to ensure visitors can return for a fun day out and all our previous safety measures, including pre-booked online tickets only, timed entry slots, reduced visitor numbers, a one-way system and hand sanitising stations around the 40-acre site remain in place ready and waiting to protect our staff, animals and public.”