A SCHOOLGIRL got to grips with all creatures great and small when she turned into a zookeeper for the day.
Alice Ryan, a pupil at Dodderhill School in Droitwich, was the first youngster to handle a yellow-backed chattering lorikeet as part of Dudley Zoological Gardens Little Zoo Keeper for a Day experience.
The 11-year-old also got to help staff with their daily duties including feeding, cleaning and caring for an array of animals, many of which are endangered species.
Alice’s mum Sally said: “We were told this was the first time the lorikeets had been introduced to the young zoo keepers and Alice just loved it.
“The birds were her favourite and it was really special to see her holding one.”
She was treated to the experience as an early 12th birthday gift and was joined on the day by her friend Adi Powell.
Peter Suddock, Dudley Zoological Gardens chief executive, added: “Alice and Adi 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.”