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PICTURES: Three cute lynx cubs born at Dudley Zoo

Carpathian lynx triplets have been born at Dudley Zoological Gardens Credit: Dudley Zoo

Three Carpathian lynx cubs have been born at Dudley Zoological Gardens.

The triplets, who were born on May 23, have been cosying up in the internal dens with four-year-old mum, Daisy.

This week they've finally been able to explore outside.

Mum protects her young cub Credit: Dudley Zoo

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Rare penguin called Pingu turns 23 at Dudley Zoo

Pingu, with keeper Kriss Pearson Credit: Dudley Zoological Gardens

Dudley Zoological Gardens' oldest rare penguin has turned 23 today, and celebrated by getting the first pick of the fish.

Pingu is a Humboldt penguin, which are classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN red data list. They originate along the South American coastline in areas reached by the Humboldt current. The penguins are named after German scientist, Alexander Von Humboldt, who explored the region in the late 1700s.

Celebrations for Pingu's birthday will continue tomorrow too, as it is World Penguin Day, which coincides with the annual northern migration of penguins.

His keeper, Kriss Pearson said:

Pingu is a very special penguin to us as he was one of just five hand-reareds who started our colony back in 1991. It’s because of him that we now have 67 parent-reared penguins in the bay, which is one of the largest colonies of Humboldt penguins in the UK.

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 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 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 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.

Love-struck tigers to go on public show next week

A tiger couple involved in a major international breeding programme will go on display at Dudley Zoo next week.

Daseep and Joao are Sumatran tigers - one of the most critically-endangered breeds of tiger in the world.

They have now been introduced face-to-face for the first time - and, once they have settled in to their new environment, visitors to the zoo will be able to view them in their enclosure.

Daseep and Joao the Sumatran tigers in their new enclosure after meeting face-to-face for the first time Credit: Dudley Zoo

It is hoped that Joao and Daseep, who has been labelled the world's second most important female in the genetic pool for the species, will begin to reproduce.

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Love blossoms between endangered tigers

Love is blossoming between two of the most critically endangered breeds of tiger in the world at Dudley Zoo.

Keepers have put three-year-old female Sumatran tiger Daseep to 21-month-old male Joao face to face for the first time in the hope of soon hearing the pitter-patter of little paws in the tiger enclosure.

And they say the first proper meeting was a great success, with the pair touching noses in greeting.

Daseep and Joao the Sumatran tigers Credit: Dudley Zoo

Joao arrived from Germany's Krefeld Zoo last month and the pair have been slowly introduced in neighbouring internal dens, to give them chance to get to know one another.

Sumatran tigers are among the rarest in the world, with just 140 remaining in the wild.

The breeding programme is part of a major worldwide conservation project.

Newborn meerkat joins the mob at Dudley Zoo

Staff at Dudley Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a newborn baby meerkat.

Visitors to the zoo were delighted when the tiny pup - who is so young its eyes and ears are not yet open - ventured out with its mother to enjoy the sunshine.

The newborn meerkat at Dudley Zoo Credit: Dudley Zoo

The pup was protected by its mother and other females in the mob, but visitors were still able to catch a glimpse as its mother ushered it outside.

Meerkats do not normally leave their underground dens until they are at least a month old, when they are bigger and have fur.

The youngster was protected by its mother as they ventured outside Credit: Dudley Zoo

Royal names for Dudley Zoo meerkats

Meerkats at Dudley Zoological Gardens. Credit: DZG

Dudley Zoological Gardens (DZG) have named a trio of seven-week-old meerkats George, Alexander and Louis in honour of the royal baby.

Meerkats at Dudley Zoological Gardens. Credit: DZG

DZG Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, said:

"Last week we ran a competition to name the youngsters among our Facebook followers and had considered a few of their suggestions, but when Kate and William's baby was named yesterday.

"We just saw it as the perfect opportunity to give them a royal connection – particularly as they were born in the main meerkat enclosure in the shadow of 11th century Dudley Castle, at the heart of the zoological gardens."

"After the official naming staff will be sending off an adoption pack to Prince George Alexander Louis for his namesakes at DZG – with an invitation to call in and see them sometime!"

Meerkats at Dudley Zoological Gardens. Credit: DZG
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