Penguin plans for Telford's Exotic Zoo
It has been a whirlwind of a year for Telford's Exotic Zoo – and owner Scott Adams is looking forward to another exciting year ahead.
The 34-year-old realised his dream of turning his animal education centre into a public zoo in the summer and said the reaction from visitors had been fantastic.
It has also been a year for welcoming new arrivals, which have included two ring-tailed lemurs – an endangered species.
The furry new residents moved into the Exotic Zoo at the Lakeside Plant and Garden centre in Priorslee in November and are already proving popular.
Other new species have included a baby pygmy marmoset and fruit bats.
Although the zoo has now closed its doors until February 3, Scott says there is a lot to look forward to in 2018.
He said: "We will be doing building work in January and adding some new enclosures.
"We are also installing a natural history collection which will have real animal skeletons and fossils."
He said there are also plans to build a penguin enclosure in the spring.
Scott said: "It's been a very exciting year. Moving to a new site was the icing on the cake.
"It was a big move to be open seven days a week.
"It was really exciting but scary at the same time. "We had a crazy summer. We were absolutely packed and got some really good feedback.
"In March we are hoping to start work on a penguin enclosure. We are hoping it will be done by the summer.
"I think penguins will capture people's imaginations. It will be a really interesting animal to add to the area."
Scott is also known for appearing on shows like Blue Peter, the Sam and Mark show and The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
And he has already started planning more TV appearances for the New Year.
Scott added: "That's something I enjoy doing personally.
"The kids get really engaged when they see animals on the television."
The zoo operates with seven full-time staff and a team of volunteers and people on work placements.
It includes a rainforest zone, desert zone, nocturnal area and a petting farm.
The zoo opened to the public in July, and was made possible with the help of veterans from the Combat Stress treatment centre at Audley Court, on Audley Avenue in Newport.
Exotic Zoo's education centre also works with local schools, colleges and education providers to offer unique animal and environment educational workshops.
For more information call 01952 371570 or visit www.exoticzoo.co.uk