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History and Mission: Learn about the Origins and Vision of Dartmoor Zoo as a Family-Friendly Attraction in Devon

Dartmoor Zoo, nestled in the heart of Devon, is not just a zoo. It’s a place where families can learn about the world’s wildlife, engage in fun activities, and contribute to global conservation efforts.

A Zoo with a Rich History

Dartmoor Zoo’s journey began in 1968 when Ellis Daw and his family decided to transform their sprawling 33-acre property into a wildlife park. Over the years, the zoo has faced numerous challenges, including financial struggles and the need to upgrade facilities to meet modern standards. In 2006, the Mee family took over, and their journey was even documented in the Hollywood film “We Bought a Zoo.”

After taking on the zoo in 2006 and opening in 2007, the Mee family kindly donated Dartmoor Zoological Park to ‘Dartmoor Zoological Society’ in 2014, a charity specially created for the purpose and registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under registration number 1158422.

The charity is responsible for the care of the animal collection as well as conservation, breeding and research projects. Therefore, whilst they are still the beloved home of the, ‘We Bought a Zoo’ story, a new story led by the charity is developing.

A Commitment to Conservation

Dartmoor Zoo is about more than just providing a fun day out for families. It’s also deeply committed to wildlife conservation. The zoo is involved in various conservation projects, both locally and globally, and is part of the European Endangered Species Programme. This commitment to conservation is part of what makes a visit to Dartmoor Zoo fun and meaningful.

Family-Friendly Activities

Dartmoor Zoo offers a range of activities that are perfect for families. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Junior Keeper for a Day: Experience a day in the life of a zookeeper. This hands-on experience lets you get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s most famous residents. Book here
  • Meet the Tiger (8yrs+): Get up close and personal with Dragan, a male Amur tiger, for an encounter you’ll never forget. This experience includes free access to the rest of the Zoo and a free lunch in the Jaguar restaurant. Book here
  • Feed the Otters: Have a unique experience feeding the otter family. You’ll be with a keeper at all times and will be able to ask them lots of questions.  Book here

Why Dartmoor Zoo is the Perfect Family Day Out

Dartmoor Zoo offers a unique blend of fun, education, and conservation. It’s a place where children can learn about the importance of wildlife conservation and have a great time. The zoo’s wide range of activities ensures something for everyone, making it the perfect destination for a family day out in Devon.

So why wait? Plan your visit to Dartmoor Zoo today and create unforgettable memories with your family while contributing to a noble cause.

Did you know that a portion of DZS ticket sales are used to help conservation efforts worldwide? 

Dartmoor Zoo are supporting the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), which is dedicated to saving Cheetah in the wild. Now that’s a win-win!


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