Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Thank you to DZP Sponsors - Devon Fit Camp

Claire Morgan-Hughes from Devon Fit Camp and
Dartmoor Zoo CEO Benjamin Mee
The Team at Dartmoor Zoo would like to extend a massive thank you to Devon Fit Camp for all their support over the years. Most recently they have sponsored the Dartmoor Zoo van, a vital vehicle for the Zoo which visits local supermarkets and picks up food for the animals, transports supplies, and has even been known to move the odd animal or two!

They have also very generously sponsored Vlad the Tiger, proceeds of which go towards the essential looking after of our animals on a day to day basis.

Claire Morgan-Hughes from Devon Fit Camp visited the Zoo to see the new sponsorship plaque and said:

“We have been proud supporters of Dartmoor Zoo for the last five years. As a local charity and a family attraction, it is close to my heart both personally and professionally. Over the years we have worked together on many projects and are excited to be planning some more for 2016. Being a business in the heart of Devon, I feel it is important to be as supportive as possible to both businesses and charities in our community. We are delighted to be sponsoring Dartmoor Zoo and in particular Vlad, for another year and thankful for the support that Ben and the Zoo give us time and time again.”

So thank you to Devon Fit Camp. Without support from partners like them, the vital work we do in conservation, education and research, as well as the day to day looking after the animals, couldn’t be done.

Watch this space for some upcoming collaborations…

You can find out more about Devon Fit Camp by visiting their website: www.devonfitcamp.co.uk
Or learn about Corporate Sponsorship opportunities by visiting: http://www.dartmoorzoo.org.uk/getinvolved/corporatesponsorship

Thursday, 24 March 2016

City College Plymouth Sponsors Dartmoor Zoo Newsletter


Dartmoor Zoo would like to welcome City College Plymouth on board as the exclusive sponsor of our E-newsletter.

Their support will go towards enabling our fantastic education and research departments continue their wonderful work researching and raising awareness of conservation issues.

Moving forwards we hope that the partnership will grow and that students of the College will benefit by having the opportunity to put their learning into practice by taking part in practical tasks up at the Zoo, from Engineering steel gates, to plastering, building walls, and conducting studies into visitor patterns at the Zoo.

CEO of the Zoo, Benjamin Mee, said: “Collaborating with educational establishments is something I seek to do on a regular basis here at the Zoo. It is a wonderful resource which is ideal for helping students develop their skills for work and progress down their chosen career paths, whilst at the same time enabling the Zoo to carry out projects which otherwise may not have been possible. Together we can achieve amazing things and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with City College Plymouth.”

So thank you to City College Plymouth for their valuable support, and watch this space for more developments!

To stay up-to-date with news and developments at the zoo, subscribe to the newsletter here.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Membership Deals for 2016


We're getting the New Year off to a great start at DZP with the introduction of out brand new Membership Programme which is more flexible and delivers great value for money.
 
As part of a wider review of our plans for 2016 and beyond, we have recently undertaken a comprehensive review of our membership packages to ensure they meet the needs of our visitors and continue to offer great value for money. From January, we’ll be introducing a new Standard Membership alongside an enhanced Premium Membership option as well as a host of new benefits and a greater variety of purchase options.

The review took into consideration the benefits of our existing membership, and the manner in which people use their membership throughout the year. We also looked at what other zoos and family attractions offer, as well as taking comments from our members and regular visitors.

We have found that whilst representing very good value for money, as it stands our 2015 membership offering does not best serve the needs of all our members, nor does it present the best opportunity for those members who wish to make the most of their contribution to the zoo by taking advantage of Gift Aid.

To address these concerns, from January 2016 there will be two new membership options: Standard Membership and the enhanced, Premium Membership.

These packages will deliver:

  • More flexible options
  • Enhanced benefits
  • Added value
  • Great savings

Standard Membership:
Our review indicated clearly that year round unlimited free admission to the zoo is considered the primary benefit of membership. As such, for the majority of our members, it is the primary reason for purchase. If that’s all you need, then the Standard Membership is for you.

Premium Membership:
For those who are more involved with the life of the zoo, attending events, taking advantage of experience days, DZP Rangers, etc., the Premium Membership package offers a host of opportunities for further savings. 

Premium Membership will continue to offer the following great benefits:

  • Unlimited free admission all year round
  • Priority booking and discounts on DZP events
  • 20% discounts on all DZP experience days such as Keeper for a Day
  • 20% discount on venue hire for parties and functions
  • 50% discount on daily admission to selected attractions such as the National Marine Aquarium, Pennywell Farm and The Big Sheep

And to these great benefits we’ve added:
  • 20% Friends & Family discount on admissions (on full price admissions with Premium Member present)
  • Special discounts on “Members’ Days” throughout the year – see web site for details
  • Complementary Guest Tickets – One ticket for Two Free Adult admissions with each membership (excluding single Adult and single Child Premium Membership)
  • 10% Discount on DZP Rangers and Rangers’ Academy
  • 20% discount on kids’ parties (if the child is a Premium Member)
  • 10% discount on gift shop items (minimum spend of £5 applies)
  • Priority access to selected on-site events such as kids’ TV character days
New Family/Multiple Options:
Our review also indicated a need for greater variety in the range of multiple options available. To address this, we’ve introduced multiple options for families and introduced a couples’ option for further savings.

Prices:

Standard Membership
Premium Membership
Family (2 adults + 2 children)
£95
£125
Adult (16yrs and over)
£35
£45
Adult Concession (OAP, Student, Disabled)
£30
£35
Child (4 to 15yrs)
£20
£30
New Family/Multiple Options:
Couples (2 x Adults)
£65
£85
Family (1 X Adult + 1 Child)
£50
£70
Family (1 x Adult + 2 Children)
£70
£105
Family (2 x Adults + 1 Child)
£85
£115




Try before you buy
Simply visit and pay the usual daily admission. If you enjoy your day and you’d like to come back as many times as you like with one of our Membership options, talk to a member of staff – we’ll refund the cost of your daily admission and process your membership.

Existing Member Renewal Offer
To introduce the new membership packages, we have implemented a renewal offer to ensure that our existing members are able to choose the best option and take advantage of the benefits whilst avoiding any immediate price increase.

If you already have a DZP Membership, regardless of the expiry date, you have until January 30th to renew your existing membership at the 2015 prices. When your current membership expires, we’ll simply continue the new membership, complete with full benefits, for twelve months thereafter.

As an existing member, to take advantage of the renewal offer, please contact Charlotte Higgins by email or telephone: 01752 837 645.

You can purchase the membership that best suits you on our web site.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Operation 'Pen-Pals'

Jasiri and Josie, soon to be together
Our lions, Jasiri and Josie, have been getting used to each other as close neighbours since Christmas. This summer you can help us bring them together for the first time. However, with large territorial predators this is a delicate, challenging operation. 

The male lion, Jasiri arrived from Newquay Zoo just before last Christmas. He moved into the large enclosure next to the female, Josie, following the sad loss of Tasmin our much loved Amur Tiger.

He made himself at home very quickly and started to get to know his new neighbour across the ten meter divide between their enclosures. Even at this considerable distance the delicate process of introduction was underway.

At first, Josie was very cautious and kept her distance. Within a few days she became curious, spending more time observing the new male who by then had begun to make his presence known to her, and anyone within the five kilometer range of his impressive roar.

In the intervening time it has become commonplace to find them each sitting calmly at their respective boundaries, pointedly ignoring the other. And that's a good sign.

It has always been the plan to bring the two together in Josie's enclosure, but this is by no means as simple as it sounds. African Lions, both male and female, are fiercely territorial. Once they have laid claim to a patch of land any interloper can expect a serious challenge. In the wild, encounters such as this are a matter of life and death. Without careful management, it can be the same in captivity.

Jasiri and Josie like to keep an eye on each other

With the Operation 'Pen-Pals' project, we can allow Jasiri and Josie to go through the natural process of integration, during which they will 'negotiate' acceptable terms for cohabitation, whilst keeping the friction and stress to an absolute minimum. 

By building a strong connecting pen between the two enclosures we can effectively bridge the ten meter gap and bring the two lions face-to-face for the first time. Here they will be free to snarl and spit and roar and claw at each other on either side of the security mesh, thereby keeping the physical consequences of such behaviour to a minimum.

By alternating which of the two has sole access to the connecting pen, over time they should also begin the recognise the pen as a 'no man's land' over which neither has exclusive domain.

During this process, which will last as long as the lions deem it necessary, the keepers will be able to closely monitor the way they react to each other. We should expect negotiations to resolve to a tense but largely peaceful detente.

The next stage will see Jasiri and Josie in the connecting pen together. Being a relatively small space compared to the main enclosures, it will afford keeping staff the opportunity to safely intervene from outside the pen if the encounter becomes too physical. This will usually involve nothing more serious than a CO2 fire extinguisher.  

Ultimately, the whole process will end with Jasiri and Josie sharing what is currently Josie's enclosure as cooperative companions.

The Grow for Good team clearing the space for work to begin

But that's not the end of the project. Once the integration is complete Jasiri's enclosure will be free to accommodate another big cat species. We have a number of suitable occupants in mind and conversations with other collections continue. Whoever takes up residence will play a major role in our ongoing conservation work.

What's more, the pen between the two enclosures will also serve as an ideal 'cubbing pen' into the future, enabling us to participate fully in managed breeding programmes for endangered species.

We have diverted some funds from our day-to-day operational budgets to get this important project underway, but we'll need your help to drive it to completion this summer.

By making a contribution, however large or small, you'll be enriching the daily lives of these magnificent animals who, merely by their presence here, have already given great joy to thousands of visitors. You'll also be helping us to further improve our big cat collection and fulfill our ongoing commitment to the conservation of these important species.

You can contribute via our secure donations platform below or, better still, visit the zoo, see Jasiri and Josie and talk to the staff.

Your support is vital, and very much appreciated.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Pole-Dancing Jaguar

Today we gave our Jaguar a bit of enrichment in the form of hanging meat. 

Keepers placed a meaty bone inside a heavy duty cardboard tube then hung it up high on a tree stump. Jaguar are extremely good climbers and by hanging his food in the tree promotes a bit of extra exercise and agility as well as encourage a bit of hunting ingenuity. This also helps him keep fit and use those muscles that do not always get a workout. 

It's also great fun. 


Chincha, or Nico as the keepers have nicknamed him, came to us from Parc de Felis in France in April. When he arrived he was understandably nervous of his new surroundings and charges. It took a few weeks for him to settle but now he is very happy. He can be seen playing up the trees or in the long grass and especially in his moat. He is an excellent swimmer and loves playing with his ball in the water. 

Jaguars are the largest of the South American cats and the third largest cat in the world. Tiger and Lion being the biggest. 

Jaguar can weight up to 114kgs. Chincha weighs around 90kg. They have the most powerful bite force of all the big cats at around 2000psi, compared to Tigers at 1050psi and Lions at 800psi. This means Jaguar can crush the skull of their prey, such as Capybara and Tapir, with a single bite.

The video demonstrates how strong they are and how agile they can be. At one point you can see how he is able to hold his entire body weight by his teeth!