DUDLEY Zoo and Castle’s sweetcorn-loving bearcat has been enjoying a taste of typical cinema snacks ahead of this week’s open-air film screenings.

As an enrichment treat, zoo keepers popped sweetcorn kernels in the microwave before serving the unflavoured treat to four-year-old binturong Ellie.

Senior keeper Joshua Luxton said: “Sweetcorn is Ellie’s favourite food and we often spot her stealing it from her den mate, Connie, the Asian Palm Civet, when she’s not looking.

“Ahead of the zoo’s cinema events we thought we’d try popping some sweetcorn kernels and see what she thought of those, as you can’t beat popcorn and a film and she did taste a couple, although Elliot, our male binturong, wasn’t keen.

“Interestingly, the Southeast Asian native species naturally smells of hot buttered popcorn, not due to their diet, which here at the zoo typically consists of chicken breast, boiled eggs and fruit and vegetables, but because of a chemical in their urine, so make sure you have a sniff at their enclosure when you next visit.”

Cinema guests are invited to bring their own popcorn and snacks to the zoo’s three film showings taking place in the courtyard of Dudley Castle.

The Greatest Showman will be screened on Thursday (August 5), dinosaur classic Jurassic Park on Friday (August 6) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday (August 7) at 9.30pm each night, with gates opening at 7pm.

Tickets, priced £17.50, are still available from the zoo’s website or by calling 01384 215313.

The screenings will go ahead whatever the weather, so people are urged to go prepared.