This St George’s Day, families can now get up close and personal with England’s most friendly dragon at Drayton Manor Park.

George the Giant Zonure, a large armoured lizard, has been dubbed most friendly due to his sociable nature and cute personality.

Zoo Manager and Drayton Manor Park’s conservation and animal welfare expert, Chris Mitchell said: “All of us here at the zoo very much love George and his cool, quirky ways. We feel privileged to have such a fascinating creature who not only has a great personality, he also looks just like a dragon thanks to his heavily reinforced spiny scales.

“The population of Giant Zonures is declining in the wild so conservation is increasingly important.”

George’s home is an impressive 15-acre zoo at the family owned and run Drayton Manor Park, which is a member of BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and works hard on the conservation of endangered species from all around the world.

The zoo is actively involved in a number of conservation projects both locally and internationally and also provides educational workshops for children, plus research opportunities and work experience for students.

Visitors to the zoo can also see the Sumatran Tigers, Monkeys and Primates, a mob of mischievous Meerkats, as well as various birds of prey and reptiles.  

Throughout the season, families can watch as the animals are often given environmental enrichment in the form of novel objects, food treats and sensory delights such as scented hay sacks, which are very popular with the Sumatran Tigers.

What’s more, visitors to the zoo this spring will see lots of new arrivals including Red Pandas, Sulawesi Crested Macaques, Beaded Lizards, Golden Headed Lion Tamarins and some very cute Dik Diks.

Chris added: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming guests throughout the season and know that visitors are going to love learning about George the Giant Zonure. For instance the species’ scientific name is ‘Smaug’, which may sound familiar to fans of The Hobbit as it was thought to have inspired the name of the legendary dragon.”

To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1950.