Saturday, 21 July 2012

More Amazing Stoat Action

One thing we are really proud of here at DZP is the wealth of animal life outside the enclosures. The natural woodland setting is home to a huge variety of animals including a range of pretty impressive small mammals.

As our recent story of the Amazing Stoat Rescue demonstrated, these fierce little predators are a firm favourite with staff and visitors alike.

Whilst our video was impressive, we thought you'd appreciate this footage from BBC Wildlife. It shows a wider variety of stoat behaviour, all of which has been witnessed by staff and visitors here at DZP - including the very dramatic rabbit hunt (WARNING: It doesn't end well for the rabbit).

Next time you visit, keep an eye out for our stoats, particularly in the walk-through exhibit. You might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of mother nature in action.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Murder at the Zoo!

On the 25th of August we'll be hosting a Murder Mystery event here at the zoo.

For a limited number of guests there will be a drinks reception followed by a tour of the zoo and a two course meal in the Jaguar restaurant.

The setting is a movie premier after show party. As the evening unfolds things will get heated, there will be threats made between some of the guests leading to the discovery of a body!

At the end of the evening the killer will be revealed. Will you have your wits about you? Will you be able to spot all the clues? Will you be able to point the finger at the guilty party?

Will you be a Sherlock Holmes or an Inspector Clouseau?

Tickets are £45 per person including drinks reception, zoo tour and two course meal. Save £20 for groups of four people!

Tickets are available from our Restaurant Manager, Sabeena but be quick - only a limited number are available. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Happy Birthday DZP

It’s July 7th and we’re celebrating our Fifth Birthday so we thought it might be interesting to briefly reflect on how many ways DZP is just like a typical 5 year old...

We’re growing Fast - the output of our research department has recently more than quadrupled. We now conduct research projects at all academic levels across a broad range of subjects and we have fantastic relationships with a growing number of respected educational institutions. Our education department has also more than doubled its involvement with local schools and colleges offering an increasingly diverse range of tailor-made educational programmes including our award-winning Enterprise Challenge. And our collection has grown to include lechwe and waterbuck antelope, ostrich, Dartmoor ponies, white naped cranes, Bennett’s and Palma wallabies and not forgetting our most recent arrival, Luta the baby tapir. Developments are also underway to add zebra before the end of this year.

We’re resilient - Like any five year old we’ve seen our share of bumps and scrapes – perhaps more so than most. We’ve had to bounce back from some of the wettest summers on record, most of which damage more than just visitor numbers (even today the rain has reduced visitor numbers to a trickle of brave souls and wreaked several thousand pounds worth of damage). We've had catastrophic fresh water and electrical system failures and unexpected vital veterinary interventions that put major stress on available funds. And of course, like any other small business, we’ve been knocked around by the volatile economy, but we’re still on our feet.

We’re making new friends - Well we’ve been doing that since we started, but now we can say that we have a really strong group of reliable friends. A growing number of local companies have stepped up to provide much needed support over the years and we’re proud to number them among our friends. Also, we were recently confirmed as full members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). With full membership we are now a fully participating member of the wider zoological community.

We have big dreams - With a wish-list that includes a radically redesigned visitor access route, a nocturnal house and indoor kids play area, giraffe and elephant exhibits (but don’t tell the local authority), and a whole new research centre, our dreams are always big. But like any five year old we’re also expecting to continue to deal with the occasional nightmare.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Amazing Stoat Rescue

As many of our visitors have come to appreciate, one of Dartmoor Zoo's best assets is its wonderful, woodland setting. We do our best to keep is as natural as possible to encourage local wildlife. Recently our efforts were rewarded when we managed to capture on film a fascinating example of nature at work.

Two baby stoats had managed to find themselves exposed and without parental protection right in the middle of our walk-through enclosure.

At the time we were getting some footage for our Behind the Scenes DVD with Dominic from ViewhearAs our curator, Colin Northcott explains, we were incredibly luck to witness the events at all, let alone catch them on film.