We’re so pleased to welcome a Lau banded iguana to Dartmoor Zoo!
Found on the Lau Islands of the eastern part of the Fijian archipelago, this species is considered a national treasure by the government of Fiji, and its likeness has been featured on postage stamps and currency.
Populations of these iguanas have been declining over the past century and they’re now sadly listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Threats include habitat destruction from logging and farming, invasive predators and the illegal pet trade.
Come and meet Tonga for yourself this May half term! You can spot him in our Reptile and Bug House.
Bring your friends along and join us at Dartmoor Zoo on Saturday 25th June from 5.30pm to 9.30pm for an evening of fun and frolics!
Tickets for this exclusive adults-only event cost £25 per person and include zoo entry, a welcome drink, live concert band, a sumptuous hog roast (vegetarian and vegan option available), dessert, plus the opportunity to see our amazing animals after hours as the sun sets.
As part of the event, there will also be a silent auction with some fantastic ‘one-off’ prizes and a fundraising raffle, as well as animal talks by our presentation and zoo keeper team.
However you wish to celebrate this summer, add some animal magic and have a roaring good time!
We’re delighted to welcome THREE new bird species to Dartmoor Zoo!
Our first new arrival is a critically endangered Bali myna, also known as a Bali starling, one of the rarest species of bird on the planet.
Found in the tropical forests of Bali, their pure white plumage and blue streak across the eye has made them irresistible to collectors and due to the illegal bird trade, they’re unfortunately incredibly close to becoming extinct in the wild.
We will be working to help safeguard these stunning birds as part of the European Breeding Programme.
Our second new arrivals – a flock of Java sparrows!
The Java sparrow, also known as Java finch, Java rice sparrow or Java rice bird, is a species of finch native to Java and Bali in Indonesia.
They’re highly social and forage in groups in growing vegetation for rice, grass seeds, and small insects.
Listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, this species has been introduced to other parts of the world, including Hawaii, but is threatened in its native range due to habitat loss and trapping for the illegal pet trade. As a result, their numbers are sadly plummeting.
Finally, two Luzon bleeding-heart doves have been welcomed to the Zoo.
With a distinct red ‘heart’ in the centre of their chest, this bird got its unusual name from the splash of vivid red on their white breasts, which resembles a bleeding wound.
Listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List, the population of this species has been shrinking in recent years due to habitat loss, as well as hunting and trapping for the pet trade.
Guests may be able to hear the doves calling periodically, making ‘cooing’ noises to stay in contact with each other while they forage for berries, seeds, and grubs to eat.
Come and see these beautiful birds in person! You can spot our new arrivals in our Bird Aviary.
We’re delighted to announce that our team have successfully released our first rehabilitated hedgehog back into the wild!
Idris was found wandering in the middle of a busy road by a concerned member of the public. When he arrived at our Hedgehog Rescue, also known as ‘Prickly Hedge Lodge’, he was extremely weak, dehydrated, severely underweight and was unable to stand up without swaying.
Despite a difficult start in life, Idris responded well to treatment and has now been released back into a safe area with supported feeding and housing to help him find his feet, until he is ready to venture out in his own time.
Although our team will miss this cheeky little character, we’re so pleased to see him healthy and are confident that he’ll thrive in the wild.
Please donate towards this amazing project and support our charity as we continue to save our precious hedgehogs.
We’re very proud to announce that we have been successful in breeding over 75 black beauty stick insects!
This species is sadly listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and their population in the wild is still decreasing, facing threats from livestock farming and habitat loss.
They’re native to Peru and can now only be found in the wild in the Cordillera del Condor region of Peru in South America.
Only discovered in 2005, not much is known about these insects, but they’re believed to be most active at night when their deep black coloration keeps them hidden from predators. They’re also armed with a gland at the rear of their heads which, when threatened, can spray a corrosive, strong-smelling substance!
We’re currently rearing these insects in our breeding room but they will soon be on show in our Reptile and Bug House.
All five capybara babies at Dartmoor Zoo have now been named!
We’d like to officially introduce you to:
– Lady – Named by Jennifer Pierce – Rowan – Named by Peter and Jane Cowin – Endeavour – Named by Endeavour Saunders – Ziggy – Named for Sarah by Mum – Peachy – Named for Karen by Ian
A huge thank you to our capybara champions for getting involved! We’re incredibly grateful for your support.
We’re hosting our first Home Educators Day on Monday 7th March!
This is the perfect opportunity for educators to explore Dartmoor Zoo at a discounted rate, meet other families and discover the animal kingdom.
Explore our 33-acre site, visit our Reptile and Bug House (open 11am-3pm) and listen to informative daily talks (please check the daily talk schedule on arrival to find out what talks will be hosted that day).
If you choose to purchase our admission with workshop ticket, this will include all the above, plus a fun and interactive workshop with our small, less furry animals (please note there will be no handling of animals during these sessions). All workshops cover the same topics and you will only need to attend one. If you are joining us for our workshop, please meet at the meerkat enclosure 5 minutes before the start time.
£12 for adults with workshop and £9 for children with workshop
£11 for adults without workshop and £8 for children without workshop
Custard Storm Productions will also be joining us on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd February to host two performances and entertaining workshops each day (morning and afternoon session), all included as part of your general admission ticket!
Whether you’re an avid juggler or first time novice, a team of highly trained circus artists will be on hand to make sure you have an amazing time and learn some incredible new skills.
To ensure the performances and workshops don’t become overcrowded, please ensure that you book your place in addition to your general admission ticket to the Zoo.
*** Please note that the workshops are suitable for children aged 3+ and can be booked as an add-on when purchasing admission tickets for Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd February.
This Valentine’s Day, name a cockroach in honour of that un-special (or special) someone in your life!
For a £5 donation to Dartmoor Zoo, name one of our cockroaches after someone who’s been ‘bugging’ you and receive a customisable certificate featuring your chosen name to show your support.
If you have bitterness in your heart or unresolved anger towards an ex, a boss, or whoever has been a thorn in your side, this is the perfect opportunity to channel those feelings and get rid of any negative energy!
All proceeds will help our charity continue the amazing care we provide to our animals, whilst supporting our vital conservation efforts.
Show some love for Dartmoor Zoo!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we’ve got a purr-fect offer for you to mark the occasion.
Treat that special someone to a wild day out on Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th and Monday 14th February and take advantage of our unmissable 2 for 1 offer on adult admission tickets!
Pre-book your tickets and use code ‘DZSVAL50’ at the checkout to claim the offer.
A winters storm has swept through the Zoo and poor Mr Snowman has lost all his pieces and needs your help to put him back together!
Whilst on your journey to build your snowman, learn about how our British wildlife survives through our cold winters. Can your snowman help our animals through winter?
If you’re a family who love an adventure, then come and join us between Saturday 18th December until Monday 10th January to take part in our festive trail, explore our 33-acre site and meet the wonderful animals here at Dartmoor Zoo.
Bring your own colouring pencils or upgrade to a trail pack for just £1.50 and receive:
– A trail sheet – Crayons – A badge – Two sweets – A sticker sheet
** This trail is included as part of your general Zoo admission ticket.
We’re delighted to announce that Dartmoor Zoological Society (DZS) is now an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
WAZA is a global community of progressive zoological organisations that are actively engaged in critically important efforts to protect wildlife.
The membership consists of nearly 400 leading institutions and organisations around the world dedicated to providing the highest standards of care and striving to achieve the most in conservation of animals and their habitats.
Becoming a WAZA member presents incredible opportunities for professional development and collaboration on international research and conservation projects.
Coral Jonas, Deputy CEO of Dartmoor Zoological Society, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be part of WAZA. We’ve worked hard to build an incredible home for our animals, where we have the privilege of continuing our mission to protect them whilst also providing a platform to educate our guests and continue to learn about how to conserve them today and in the future.”
Dr Martín Zordan, Chief Executive Officer of WAZA, said: “We’re delighted to expand our global community by welcoming Dartmoor Zoological Society as a new WAZA Institutional member.
“As a global community committed to high standards of animal welfare and conserving biodiversity, we’re able to further increase our impact by having more like-minded organisations like Dartmoor Zoological Society joining us.”
The membership is another step in our ongoing commitment to conservation, research, education, sustainability, and animal care and welfare.
Travel back to a time when prehistoric giants roamed the earth.
Experience the wonder of dinosaurs and walk alongside your favourite prehistoric creatures at Dartmoor Zoo Dinosaurs!
Running from Saturday 24th July until Sunday 5th September, take part in our fully interactive, immersive trail, dig for fossils and learn about our spectacular giants.
Book now and join us for a truly wild adventure!
** This experience is included as part of your general Zoo admission ticket.
Join us this May half term to celebrate all things otter!
As part of the Moor Otters Arts Trail 2021, our amazing Moor Otter, painted by award-winning local artist Laura Wall, will be arriving at Dartmoor Zoo on Friday 28th May.
Moor Otters is a feel-good public arts project that gathers up young and old for an amazing journey of learning and discovery, creating stories and making memories.
81 stunning sculptures of otters with cubs – all designed and decorated by local and national artists – will be spending the summer with businesses, community groups and in public areas across Dartmoor, in Plymouth and in gateway towns and villages to create four arts trails.
During the most recent lockdown, our keepers and maintenance team have been busy creating a brand new African Aviary!
The aviary is positioned between the cloud rats and our Asian short-clawed otters in an area of the Zoo that many years ago held a selection of birds of prey.
Working with donated materials, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated items and their time to make the aviary a reality.
This enclosure will house our two endangered East African grey crowned cranes, Derek and Marge, lilac breasted rollers and our new Kirk’s Dik-dik, Ravioli and Macaroni.
We’re delighted to announce that after months of hard work, the Dartmoor Zoo Hedgehog Rescue, also known as ‘Prickly Hedge Lodge’, is planned to open in September.
Our team have converted an existing building into a rehabilitation facility for up to 20 sick or injured hedgehogs at a time before their release back into the wild.
Sadly, hedgehogs are now classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, with over a third of hedgehogs being lost since the millennium.
Prickly Hedge Lodge will prove vital for the longterm survival of the native population, particularly in rural areas where their decline is believed to be most rapid, and contribute to research and raising awareness.
There are many costs associated with running a rehabilitation facility and we still need to raise £1,800 to purchase essential equipment including incubators, carry boxes, materials for hedgehog runs, an examination table, a magnifying glass, a microscope and more.
If you’re able to make a financial contribution of any size towards this amazing project, we would be extremely grateful. You can donate by visiting – http://bit.ly/DZSHedgehogRescue
Oscar winning Hollywood Director Cameron Crowe announced as first patron of Dartmoor Zoological Society
The Hollywood Director behind blockbuster films We Bought a Zoo, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, has become the first patron of the Dartmoor Zoological Society charity.
Cameron Crowe, the Director behind We Bought a Zoo which is based on zoo founder Benjamin Mee’s book of the same name, has pledged to support the charity with the use of his name, after taking a key interest in the zoo’s conservation work.
Cameron’s patronage will help the Dartmoor Zoological Society charity continue its vital work. Its mission is to provide a future where no animal species faces extinction, by educating, informing, inspiring and empowering people to be more connected with the natural world and take greater responsibility for their impact.
Born and bred in California, Cameron started his career as a journalist, acting as a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone magazine before moving into the film industry. His first big hit was Jerry Maguire (1996) starring Tom Cruise which he wrote and directed. This was followed by Almost Famous (2000) which he won an Academy Award for in 2001 for his screenplay.
Cameron Crowe commented: “I’ve always been a fan of the incredible work the team does at Dartmoor Zoo. Since I adapted Benjamin Mee’s book for the screenplay and directed We Bought a Zoo, I’ve kept an eye on what they are doing. I love how, as well as doing conservation work with endangered animals, they also help vulnerable people too. Ground-breaking stuff with war veterans and kids excluded from mainstream education, connecting them with nature, real nature with lions and tigers in it and it seems to work! It really is inspiring and that’s why I’m proud to support the great charity which is Dartmoor Zoological Society.”
After establishing Dartmoor Zoo in 2007, the Mee family donated the zoo to the Dartmoor Zoological Society in 2014. As a registered charity, the Society is now proud to have Cameron Crowe as its first patron, in addition to over 500 members.
Coral Jonas, deputy CEO at Dartmoor Zoo, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Cameron as a patron of Dartmoor Zoological Society. After taking a keen interest in the work we do here whilst directing We Bought a Zoo back in 2011, Cameron was keen to know how he could continue supporting the zoo. By becoming a patron of the charity, not only will he raise awareness of the vital conservation work we do here in Devon, he will also help to ensure we can continue protecting endangered animal species and raise awareness of how we can all do more to protect the world in which we live.”
As a charity, we’re now facing part of Easter, typically one of our busiest times of year, without any visitors. We’re incredibly thankful to you all, but it is critical that we ask for your help and support to secure our future.
Anyone can become a member of Dartmoor Zoological Society. In addition to showing support for our zoo, members obtain free admission for a year and can benefit from a range of exclusive discounts. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of two lilac-breasted rollers!
The sibling pair, who have not yet been named, hatched at Paultons Park in May 2020 and have been settling in well since arriving at Dartmoor Zoo at the beginning of October.
Listed as Least Concern, these striking birds have around eight colours, including green, white, black, yellow, turquoise, dark blue, reddish brown, and lilac.
They have a robust body and a proportionately large head with a heavy black beak, a white chin and a white or yellow band above the eyes and beak. They also have a dark lilac breast that grows lighter towards the throat.
Known to be a fearless creature, these birds will sweep down to hunt from the ground and aggressively batter their prey before swallowing it whole. Their diet includes grasshoppers, beetles and small amphibians.
Hannah Webb, Acting Curator at Dartmoor Zoo, said: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome these amazing birds into our collection at the zoo. In the future, we will be looking at swapping one with an unrelated roller to create a new breeding pair.”
These amazing birds can be spotted next to our burrowing owls.