Dartmoor Zoo – Earth Festival Online
Many of you will be familiar with the very popular Dartmoor Zoological Park near Sparkwell on the south-west edge of Dartmoor. The 30 acre zoo was originally a run down old wildlife park before being bought by Benjamin Mee in 2006. Benjamin and his family imbued new life into the dilapidated park by introducing a totally new ideology which ultimately saved all the animals from their uncertain future. Thus, the new Dartmoor Zoological Park was born and quickly rose to further prominence when Benjamin’s story was documented in his book “We Bought A Zoo” followed by a Hollywood blockbuster of the same title in 2011, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
Today Dartmoor Zoological Park has 87 species and over 400 animals, all of which are looked after every day by a team of trained zookeepers and animal specialists. Conservation and animal wellbeing is of paramount importance to the zoo, which is why Benjamin went on to create a research department within the grounds. This centre is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and conducting research to help improve captive animal management and promote the rights and welfare of animals everywhere. The Dartmoor Institute of Animal Science (DIAS) POD, in partnership with Plymouth University, is a recent addition to the zoo, and is helping to strengthen the zoo’s reputation as a leading animal cognition research centre.
Unfortunately, during this COVID-19 lockdown period, the zoo has obviously had to be closed temporarily. So, this year more than ever, the park needs the support of the public to help raise funds and maintain the care of its animals. A weekly fundraising target of £11,500 has been set to ensure the safety of all the animals until business returns to more normal times. If you would like to support Dartmoor Zoological Park’s important work and help safeguard its beautiful animals, please follow this link to their Fundraising Page.
In the meantime, until you can visit the zoological park in person, why not take a digital tour with Benjamin to meet some of the animals you will be supporting….