Animal-mad Richard is zoo keeper for a day

Richard Harrison turns zookeeper for the day. EMN-141218-151345001
Richard Harrison turns zookeeper for the day. EMN-141218-151345001

An animal-mad teenager from the Sleaford-area turned zoo keeper for the day when he joined staff at Dudley Zoological Gardens (DZG).

Richard Harrison, 17, of Billinghay Dales, worked behind the scenes with rare lemurs and Humboldt penguins at the award-winning West Midlands attraction as part of its Keeper For A Day experience.

His mum Vicky Harrison said: “He absolutely loved it and came home all fired up saying how can I get a job at Dudley Zoo? He thought the keepers and the relationships they had with the animals were brilliant. Richard couldn’t get over how the keepers knew all the different personalities of the animals.”

She said Richard hoped to study zoology at university and has dreamed of being a zookeeper since he was four.

DZG chief executive Peter Suddock said: “Richard had an amazing time. We introduced Keeper For a Day and Little Zoo Keepers for eight to 13-year-olds as an experience a few years ago and it has proved so successful that staff are kept busy with requests from all over the country.”

Throughout the session Richard got to help staff with their daily duties including feeding, cleaning and caring for the collection.