We are delighted to announce that we will be officially opening our brand new Reptile and Bug House this Saturday 25 July.
After months of hard work, the new room provides far more space as well as upgraded animal enclosures.
Opening from 11am – 3pm for guests to enjoy at their own leisure, the room offers easier access and allows us to create a one-way system to ensure that it meets current guidelines and offers a safe space to visit.
Justin Aird, Senior LVI Keeper, said: “We are incredibly excited to finally be opening our brand new Reptile and Bug House. We have been wanting to progress with this project for many years and thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team, including Mitch Walker and Josh Middleton, and the generosity of local businesses and supporters, we have now been able to complete this development.
“I would like to say a special thank you to Endsleigh Garden Centre for generously donating four brand new large enclosures for our reptiles. This allowed us to use our imaginations and create naturalistic, enriching and environmentally stimulating enclosures for both our animals and guests to enjoy.
“I would also like to thank Ben Faulconbridge for the continued support and fundraising for the department as well as Sara Middleton, Ross Lamerton and John Lamerton for the amazing artwork on the side of the building. We have also been very fortunate to have received multiple donations from our Amazon Wishlist allowing us to complete the finishing touches.
“We can’t wait to show our guests the brand new room and hope they will be as impressed with it as we are.”
Our indoor exhibition will be home to a number of exciting species including reptiles, amphibians and insects and some brand new arrivals here at Dartmoor Zoo. Located next to the wolves, this exhibition highlights the importance and diversity of these animals and the important role they play in our natural world.
The safety of our guests and staff is paramount to us, therefore we kindly ask all guests to wear face masks from Friday 24th July when visiting our Reptile and Bug House, shop, restaurant and inside our toilets.
We are delighted to announce that we have welcomed three new male geladas to Dartmoor Zoo for the very first time.
The three males, Bruno (aged 14), Kwame (aged 7 and Bruno’s son) and Soloman (aged 6 and Bruno’s nephew), were already living together at another zoo and are part of the international breeding program for their species.
Since arriving, they have been settling into their new enclosure which has been renovated especially for them to include heating, new lighting, lots of branches for climbing and enrichment.
Coral Jonas, Deputy CEO, said: “We are incredibly excited to be welcoming the start of what is going to be a new troop of geladas at Dartmoor Zoological Society.
“Over the past year, we have been developing their new enclosure in-house by our maintenance team and would like to thank the public for the incredible support shown over recent months, especially during lockdown. We have been very fortunate and thankful to have received donations and materials from local suppliers, allowing us to complete the finishing touches.
“The three boys were due to arrive just after the Easter holidays but due to the lock down, this was delayed.
“These are fascinating animals and our long-term plan is to house more primates within the collection so we can continue our research into animal cognition.
‘‘We will be keeping everyone updated on the monkeys progress through social media, and we are sure that all of our visitors will be thrilled to see them when we reopen.’’
Geladas are the last surviving species of grazing primate and known as shuffle-feeders, as they prefer to pluck grass while shuffling on their bottoms.
Although not classed as endangered, their numbers are decreasing due to the spread of agriculture in their habitat. They are also persecuted as crop pests in some areas.
Geladas use a complex mix of facial expressions and vocalisations to communicate with others in the group. These can be very subtle or extremely obvious! Look out for them ‘mouth chattering’ as a greeting to one another.
You can spot these handsome, long-haired, medium-bodied primates opposite the agoutis and marmosets.
Despite being allowed to reopen on Wednesday 8th July, we are only able to welcome a quarter of the visitors we would usually see through our doors due to the restrictions in place. To provide the best possible care to our animals, we must still fundraise £11,500 a week and continue to rely on the generosity of the public. If you are able to support us, please donate by visiting – https://bit.ly/DZPEmergencyAppeal.
Dartmoor Zoo will open its gates to the general public on Wednesday 8th July for the first time since its closure three months ago.
As a small way of saying thank you, Dartmoor Zoo will be offering NHS frontline workers plus one other, free entry on Sunday 5th July, the first of a number of thank you days that will be hosted at the zoo this year. Members of the zoo will then also be able to visit ahead of the official opening date on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th to thank them for the fantastic support shown throughout lockdown.
Working within the latest government guidelines, Dartmoor Zoo has implemented a series of safety measures to enable them to re-open and raise vital funds, whilst keeping visitors safe. Social distancing rules are applied throughout the zoo – visitors must maintain two metres distance apart at all times. A one-way system has been planned throughout the zoo to make this easier, additional handwashing facilities and sanitiser stations have been placed across the zoo and tickets must be purchased online prior to visiting.
Dartmoor Zoo’s popular keeper talks are now available virtually via a QR code outside each animal’s enclosure. Visitors will be able to use the restaurant as a takeaway service, with outside seating areas being arranged to meet social distance guidelines. The zoo will also allow a maximum of 200 people on site, and will stagger arrival times.
Coral Jonas, Deputy CEO at Dartmoor Zoo, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Dartmoor Zoo. We know that people have missed us, and we’ve certainly missed them! We’ve carefully considered how to make the zoo a safe place to visit and have made some changes around the park to allow for social distancing. We will continue to do everything we can to make visits with us as relaxing and as special as they have always been.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity from the public with our emergency fundraising scheme. As a zoo, we need a minimum of £11,500 a week for maintenance and to keep all our animals fed and healthy, so the sum of £53,249 and counting is amazing. As a charity we will continue to rely on this support, especially when our visitor numbers will be so limited on-site.”
During lockdown, Dartmoor Zoo has taken innovative steps to allow visitors to stay in touch and see their beloved animals, including a ‘#bringdartmoorzootoyou’ social media campaign, with keeper talks and footage from the enclosures. The zoo also set up an Amazon Wishlist, allowing people to buy items for the animals which they then shared footage of the animals enjoying on the zoo’s social media channels.
After facing uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dartmoor Zoo has lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in critical funds and depends on income from fundraising events and admissions from visitors, all of which were ceased due to lockdown. Despite being allowed to open, the zoo is only able to welcome a quarter of the visitors they would usually see through their doors due to the restrictions in place. To provide the best possible care to the animals, Dartmoor Zoo must still fundraise £11,500 a week and continues to rely on the generosity of the public.
Tickets for the NHS frontline workers will be available online next week. Further information about this event will be released on Dartmoor Zoo’s social media pages and website.
If you are a member wishing to visit on Monday 6th or Tuesday 7th July, please call 01752 837645 to book your tickets and time of arrival.
To purchase general admission tickets for Wednesday 8th July onwards, please click HERE.
Whilst we are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, our zoo keepers are caring for all of our 87 species of our 400+ animals, every single day, with the same love, care and dedication they deserve. No one knows how long this closure will last, and that poses a big challenge for us.
This year more than ever, Dartmoor Zoo needs your support. Since closing our doors in March, the zoo has lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in critical funds. We have been heartened by the generosity of the public so far but along with others, we need more.
Even after making considerable cuts, we still need to raise £45,000 a month to help us care for our animals and give them everything they need. Therefore, our weekly fundraising target is £11,500.
Dartmoor Zoo depends on income from fundraising events and admissions from our visitors, so the animals now rely solely on your generosity.
Although you cannot see them, you can still help them. Your donation today will support our important work, helping people helping wildlife, here at our zoo and around the world.
We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, however, if you are able to make a financial contribution of any size, please do what you can to support us.
Together, we can overcome this challenge, and we cannot wait until we are able to welcome you back.
Click here to DONATE
It is with a very heavy heart that we did not open Dartmoor Zoo this morning and we will be closed from today until further notice. At the moment this is the only available course of action to ensure the safety of visitors, members of staff and ultimately the animals, who are dependent on a functioning zoo surviving this period of uncertainty. The Trustees and Senior Management Team of the charity have tirelessly explored all the options currently available to us, and closing the gates to the public at the moment is the right course of action.
For now, we must emphasise that this is a temporary closure for public and staff safety, so that we can continue to provide a future for the animals here.
With the measures currently in place we are 100% confident that we will be able to re-open when circumstances allow, and we are actively exploring all the options in a rapidly changing situation. However, we are completely reliant on our ticket income and as a result of the winter, our reserves are almost exhausted and we will soon run out of money. We hope to be in a position to borrow from the Government Scheme, however, this is unlikely to be enough and we need to ask you as our supporters to give as generously as you can in these difficult times so that we can keep Dartmoor Zoo functioning until things return to normal.
The entire world is stunned by this situation, but this country is pulling together and the authorities are supporting many businesses and charities, including this one, so that they can get through the coming weeks and start to return to normal as soon as possible. We are taking great comfort from this.
Dartmoor Zoo has always been a public resource, but one which is dependent on its public to support it.
Please do what you can to support us by buying memberships, using our online shop, making donations and even buying advanced tickets for when we re-open.
We are all devastated that we have to close, but with your understanding and support, we will be back as soon as we can.