Shropshire Star

Telford zoo to celebrate Fourth of July and American animals in Wild West Weekend

Shropshire's Hoo Zoo is set to bring a bit of the USA to Telford this Fourth of July weekend.


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An immersive new event featuring re-enactors and a bucking bull will come to Telford next weekend as Hoo Zoo celebrates a ‘Wild West Weekend’ days after America's Independence Day.

The Lonestar Old West Re-enactment group will set up camp and put on hourly activities including gun fights and living history displays.

Joining them will be Rodeo Bull UK where visitors can try and win a prize by hanging onto a mechanical bull the longest.

Hoo Zoo and Dinosaur World owner, Will Dorrell said: “The idea for a Wild West Weekend came about last summer when our American zookeeper, Mel, was talking about how she missed home over the July 4 period.

Lonestar UK’s Conestoga Wagon

"All of us decided that it would be great if we could bring a little bit of the USA to Mel and help her celebrate Independence Day.

"Mel will be running keeper talks that weekend on all our American animals, giving her own unique insight into the species that she would come across at home."

Zookeeper Mel Freet said: “I’m really excited about being able to share some of my culture and history with both the team and visitors over the Fourth of July weekend.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating Independence Day weekend whilst also telling visitors all about my favourite animals and how they fit into our lives back in the USA.”

The event will open formally on July 6 at 11.30am, with the live re-enactment show ‘Skulduggery at the Silver Mine’ before carrying onto an Old West school class for any children who want to take part and see what lessons used to be.

Further activities will run throughout the weekend before culminating in the 3pm show on the July 7 ‘Hell on Wheels’ taking place around the only Conestoga Wagon in Europe.