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Wild time as Exotic Zoo opens at new Telford Town Park home

Telford's Exotic Zoo has finally moved to its new 'dream' premises in the town park as families queued up to visit on its first day.

Baby skunk Tia held by Em Barton, 12, on the Exotic Zoo's opening day at Telford Town Park
Baby skunk Tia held by Em Barton, 12, on the Exotic Zoo's opening day at Telford Town Park

Owner Scott Adams was joined by Councillor Amrik Jhawar, the mayor of Telford, other dignitaries, friends and family to officially open the popular attraction in its new home in Telford Town Park.

The zoo closed its doors at its previous premises in Priorslee in January 2020, and then was hit by the impact of the pandemic which delayed further its plans to open at its new venue.

Zoo owner Scott Adams, right, looks at a dhab lizard with reptile expert and TV presenter Mark O'Shea
Telford & Wrekin mayor Amrik Jhawar cuts a long blade of grass to open the site
Amilie Hudd, 10, and Max Marshall with bearded dragon Arthur

After passing its zoo inspection licence earlier this month, the team have been gearing up to open the new site on Hinkshay Road in the town centre.

It finally opened to the public on Saturday, as people queued to visit and staff and volunteers were thrilled to have guests back at the attraction.

Exotic Zoo owner Scott Adams said it had been a lot of hard work to get them where they are now, especially during a pandemic, but he was proud and thankful for his supportive team.

"I want to thank everyone for coming. I want to also say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped us move sites – my family, friends, the council and our volunteers.

Photo opportunity for these youngsters
Lawley's deputy mayor Ian Preece has a rival for his hair from the little monkey
Hands-on fun for youngsters at the Exotic Zoo

"Ever since we have been running Exotic Zoo we have always said it would be a dream to be in Telford Town Park," Scott said.

"It's the dream location in Telford. It is an amazing park itself with its facilities, so to be welcomed into that family is so great, and we are a close-knit community ourselves and do a lot of work in the community and with vulnerable people and children.

"We have a great relationship with Telford & Wrekin Council, who have just been so supportive.

"It's been a real rollercoaster to get here but it's been absolutely amazing how the staff and the volunteers have sorted everything and the help we have had from everyone.

Mia Moore with 16-week-old pygmy goat Phillip
The ever-popular meerkats

"It has been such a team effort. Everyone has been so dedicated even though we have been doing it through a global pandemic. They have been faultless. It's a really exciting and amazing time."

Stephen Reynolds, mayor of Oakengates, who was also there on the day, added: "This is wonderful news. When you compare this site with the other one they had, this is such a good location.

Liam Hayward shows Natasha Parker a tortoise
Wrestling meerkat

"What Scott and his team have done is phenomenal. The town park complements it well – it is an award winning park and a lot of people from all over come and visit. It's such a great attraction and Exotic Zoo will just add to it."

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