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Like many other places, Dartmoor Zoo are feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis with electricity bills reaching new highs of £72,000 and animal feed surpassing £60,000 for the year. This has led to the creation of Dartmoor Zoo’s ‘Give us an Hour’ fundraising campaign, where the ask is for an hour of your time, whether that is wages, volunteering or fundraising.

This campaign struck a chord with violinist, Niobe, who is taking centre stage on Saturday 2nd March, 2:30pm at Dartmoor Zoo and performing in front of Dragan, a spectacular Amur tiger. Niobe, who is just 10 years old, has a special place in her heart for animals and wants to use her musical talents to raise much needed funds for Dartmoor Zoo.

Niobe commented: “I absolutely love Big Cats! They’re so amazing and majestic with all different personalities. My favourite are cheetahs because they’re beautiful, fast, and graceful. I really hope I can help all of the big cats at Dartmoor Zoo by earning money for them with my music.”

Aimee, Niobe’s mum commented: Niobe’s two favourite things are Big Cats and playing her violin. Although she’s only ten, I’m so proud of her commitment and effort to achieve this well-intentioned goal and I sincerely hope she gets the support needed to make a positive difference to the zoo.”

This practice session leads up to her full performance in Ashburton where Niobe will take to the streets and busk for an hour. Cash can be given on the day, but an online fundraising account also exists, where people can donate in support of Niobe’s talents and Dartmoor Zoo.

Fundraising Lead Vanessa Apicella commented: “I’m thrilled that Niobe has chosen Dartmoor Zoo’s ‘Give us an Hour’ appeal as the platform to showcase her talents! The support we’ve received has been extraordinary, and we eagerly anticipate her complete performance in Ashburton. I’ll definitely be there to cheer her on, and I hope you will join me in supporting her.”

To show Niobe support, you can see her performance in Ashburton, outside of the Arts Centre (West Street) on Saturday 30th March at 11am, so make sure to bring some change and cheer on this amazing young fundraiser in the making!

To support Niobe online, you can donate via her fundraising page!