An animal-loving couple from Lindley became zoo keepers for the day.

Melanie Robertshaw and Robert Willey, from Tennyson Avenue, joined staff at Dudley Zoological Gardens.

They worked with Rothschild’s giraffes and chimpanzees at the 40-acre site in the West Midlands.

Robert, 33, said: “It was great to be in such close proximity to the animals and to get to know more about them.

“We got some fantastic photographs to remind us of the great day we had.”

The award-winning tourist attraction introduced the Keeper for a Day experience a few years ago and staff are now busy with requests to take part from around the country.

Participants discover what goes on behind the scenes at the zoo.

Throughout the session they help staff with their daily duties, including feeding, cleaning and caring for the animals, many of which are endangered species.

The zoo’s chief executive Peter Suddock said: “Melanie and Robert had a great time.

“It’s a unique opportunity to get close to some of the rarest animals on the planet.

“They work alongside our keepers with a wide range of exotic and endangered species most folk see only on their TV screens.”

Funds raised through the scheme support conservation and animal projects at the zoo.

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