Dudley Zoo - Killer Whale / Dolphins
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#21 Apr 1, 2010
Back to Cuddles.... I used to work at the Zoo in the early 70s (I started in the catering side aged 13 - sandwiches fish & chips etc) and used to go and see the show during my lunch break. There was a particular area on the benches, if you sat there you would get absolutely soaked. It was sad when Cuddles died, but I knew the keepers and they did loads of research before he came, travelled with him on the back of the lorry to keep him wet and make sure he was OK. It was a different time and maybe we'd do it differently now....
Rita R

Miami Beach, FL

#22 May 11, 2010
Reply to Manon and Kate...
This is mainly in response to a link posted by Manon, which posts personal information of workers at the Seaquarium and the site he posted has information that is not backed up, it is untruthful and hurtful.

Gateshead, UK

#23 Aug 18, 2010
i also saw cuddles at dudley zoo as a child, and have fond memorys of our trips there as a child, i have been back today with my children, it has been 30 years since i was last there, but got to say we had a great day

Durham, UK

#24 Nov 30, 2010
I went to Dudley Zoo 27th November 2010 and i loved it. I especially went for the Snow Leopard as i love them. I read up on most zoo history before going. Cuddles has always been in my mind as its surprised me to know a killer whale was in the uk once upon a time. If you have been recently could you please tell me where abouts cuddles used to be kept with the dolphines? So then i can get a better thought of the stories i read about the condition where he/she used to be kept. Thanks. Jayde
i price


#25 Feb 20, 2011
Animals locked out of their enclosure at Chester ??
Rubbish, ansolute rubbish.
I have an association with Chester that goes back almost 40 years and i have never seen animals "locked out of their enclosure to favour public viewing" at any time.
Only maintenance or in depth cleaning for keeper safety, and thta is rare, but never as a matter of policy as you are suggesting.

Absolute nonsense.

Seattle, WA

#26 Feb 23, 2011
that was cute

Chesham, UK

#27 Sep 7, 2012
I remember seeing Cuddles at Dudley zoo, as a small child. I would have been no older than seven as that is the age I was when he died (poor Cuddles). I felt sad then, seeing him and knowing that he was in a pool, far too small for him. Children are so perceptive and often have better common sense than adults. It's a pity that the adults who decided to house a killer whale couldn't have seen the blinking obvious. The enduring memory I have of Cuddles has put me off zoo's for life. The thrill of seeing a wild animal in its natural habitat far surpasses the feeling of sadness experienced watching captive animals pacing the four walls of its enclosure or starring listlessly into space with lifeless eyes. I saw a wild mouse, only yesterday, legging it across the road and making it safely to the other side and I felt happy. Yet the last time I visited a zoo (Twycross zoo) I left feeling very sad. The chimpanzees and bonobos had ridiculously small enclosures and were the most miserable looking animals I've seen since Cuddles. Zoos should scale down their animals and concentrate on quality, not quantity. Less animals, in bigger and more natural environments is the way forward, in my opinion.
I know that zoo's are trying to improve and are useful in the breeding of endangered animals, but more needs to be done. Animals need bigger, much bigger spaces, in which to live and we need better education around the world, so that endangered animals can be reintroduced into the wild. Otherwise, what is the point of breeding endangered animals?


#28 Aug 26, 2013
My dad went to see cuddles shortly befor he died an he said the conditions were appalling pool was to small and looked distressed. It was a shame he died but probably for the best he said he saw a group of lads throwing snow balls at him a few days befor he died cruel people.
paul wiggin

Rugeley, UK

#29 Sep 16, 2013
i saw cuddles during a school trip to dudley zoo in the 70s, i was simply bewildered by the fantastic animal, something i'll never forget, i also remember the dolphins and bears, after reading an article in a newspaper on killer whales i decided to visit the zoo once again, there are still many great animals tigers lions etc, but nothing to match cuddles, although sad that he died and was poorly treated during his captivity, i also feel privaliged to have seen such a fantastic mammal in the flesh

to those calling for dudley zoo to be closed down, why would you want such a local institution to be lost to generations to come, the zoo though does need an overall, why doesn't lottery money get used for such a good cause instead of the waste it does go on
paul wiggin

Rugeley, UK

#30 Sep 16, 2013
i price wrote:
Animals locked out of their enclosure at Chester ??
Rubbish, ansolute rubbish.
I have an association with Chester that goes back almost 40 years and i have never seen animals "locked out of their enclosure to favour public viewing" at any time.
Only maintenance or in depth cleaning for keeper safety, and thta is rare, but never as a matter of policy as you are suggesting.
Absolute nonsense.
i was at chester zoo on 13/9/13 only last friday and i saw several animals were locked out and the weather was awful raining all day, so i think you need to look into this further
paul wiggin

Rugeley, UK

#31 Sep 16, 2013
bonn wrote:
<quoted text>dont know what plannet your from mate -obviously a plannet that doesnt reconise an appaling torture house that is disgusting dudley zoo - it needs leveling so do you for defending it.get yourself to a real zoo like pAignton in devon or chester to see happy animals .dudley is widely reconised as the most appaling zoo in great britain - CLOSE IT now
i take it youve visited the zoo recently then, because i have and your comments are way wide of the mark and i have also visited chester zoo and twycross in recent weeks dudley although small certainly holds its own
paul wiggin

Rugeley, UK

#32 Sep 16, 2013
David Jones wrote:
BONN after reading your reply to Adrian Kirtons comment it's OBVIOUS to all that actually work in the Zoological Industry that you know nothing at all about Zoo's.
Firstly Dudley Zoo as a breeding record second to none in the UK for endangered species they may not be the ABC's of the zoo world but are very important to the continued existance of the species in the wild
Secondly on my last visit's to both Chester and Paignton the animals were locked out of there enclosures so that the public could see them no matter what the condition of the weather was.
Thirdly the amount of cash both paignton and Chester have had to throw at there zoo's then they should both be in the top 5 of the world but sadly they are not Chester is close but Paignton is only just above Dudley according to the actual rattings given by keepers that visit different zoo's each year Paignton has a rating of 73 Dudley as a rating of 72.
As for the condition of the pools both the Whale and the Dolphins were kept in at Dudley then they were not just the concrete pools that are there now, they were infact larger due to the extensions that were put around the pools as can be seen in most photographs from the time.
Just a quick one as you are allegedly from Bristol then explain why Bristol does not even get a mention in the last breeding book for endangered species 2008.
well said mate, i will be visiting dudley zoo again and also other zoo's and safari parks around the country, good to see some perspective on here
Ken Pellant

Harrogate, UK

#33 Sep 17, 2013
Catherine Griffiths wrote:
I'm researching Dudley Zoo during the period in which it housed the killer whale - known as Cuddles - and several bottlenose dolphins. However, pictures and information seem to be relatively thin on the ground. If you have absolutely any photographs or information or memories of these remarkable animals to share I'd be very grateful for it - photographs especially - so please get in touch!
If you have any information or pictures you'd be willing to share with me, please e-mail me at: [email protected]
I was at Flamingo Park Zoo in 1971 when Cuddles was sick. Had a loss of blood and the pool was red. He was transferred to Germany I think.
Ken Pellant

Harrogate, UK

#34 Sep 17, 2013
see post 2005

Bilston, UK

#35 Jan 5, 2014
My dad built the pool

Wolverhampton, UK

#36 Jul 7, 2014
Back in the early 70s, my husband who was about 12/13 at the time was at Dudley zoo, someone asked for a volunteer, a small boy, to be pulled around the pool by Cuddles the killer whale in a boat. And he was. I have been trying to get a picture of this event, of course it wouldn't happen now.
Have you come across this event and have you any pictures?

Medicine Lodge, KS

#37 Apr 14, 2015
People just don't understand entertainment over force

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