Open today 10am til 4pm   |  01752 837645

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.

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 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.

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.