Childhood sweetheart pops the question at Dudley Zoo

It was pure animal magic for one loved-up couple today, as a beaming groom-to-be popped the question to his childhood sweetheart as she fed her favourite animal - the giraffe.

Bride-to-be tells of delight at giraffe-themed proposal

A newly-betrothed bride-to-be has spoken of her surprise and delight when what she thought was a normal trip to Dudley Zoo turned into a proposal themed around her favourite animal.

Katherine Spooner went with childhood sweetheart Dean Wood, from Walsall, to celebrate his 24th birthday, and was thrilled when they were chosen to go up on stage to feed the rare Rothschild giraffes.

Dean dropped to one knee as Katherine fed her favourite animal
Dean dropped to one knee as Katherine fed her favourite animal Credit: Dudley Zoo

Little did she know it had all been carefully planned by her besotted boyfriend to set the scene for the ultimate romantic gesture.

Katherine, who is also 24, said she was taken totally by surprise.

I didn’t expect a proposal at all. I had no idea any of this was happening, I just thought we were having a day at the zoo with Dean’s parents, as it was his birthday.

I love giraffes and didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to feed them, so that was a huge surprise in itself.

It is the closest I’ve ever been to them and I couldn’t believe how strong they are.

Then I turned around and Dean was on his knee with a ring. I was totally shocked.

Katherine said she was taken totally by surprise
Katherine said she was taken totally by surprise Credit: Dudley Zoo

Loved-up man enlists giraffes to help pop the question

It was pure animal magic for one loved-up couple today, as a beaming groom-to-be popped the question to his childhood sweetheart as she fed her favourite animal.

Dean Wood, from Walsall, arranged a visit to Dudley Zoo with his long-term girlfriend Katherine Spooner to celebrate his 24th birthday today - and enlisted the help of staff to get up close and personal with the zoo's three rare Rothschild giraffes.

Getting hitched: Dean Wood and Katherine Spooner, with one of the giraffes who played a role in the proposal
Getting hitched: Dean Wood and Katherine Spooner, with one of the giraffes who played a role in the proposal Credit: Dudley Zoo

And while she was feeding the exotic beasts, he dropped to one knee and whipped out a sparkling diamond.

After she said yes, the school friends - who have been together for eight years - were presented with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of bubbly by staff at the zoo.

They are now looking forward to planning their big day.

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