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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.

Find out more and get involved.

To coincide with the arrival of the Moor Otter, meet our adorable family of Asian short clawed otters and take part in our Zoo trail to learn about all 13 different species.

For your chance to also win a large plush toy, simply print and decorate an otter mask and wear it to the Zoo between 29th May – 6th June.

Don’t forget to hand your mask in at our Jaguar Restaurant before you head home and include your name, age and contact details on the back.

Download your mask here.

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.

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.

Please consider making a regular monthly or a one-off donation today – http://bit.ly/DZSAppeal

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 zoobase@dartmoorzoo.co.uk.

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.