Located just 15 minutes from Plymouth, Dartmoor Zoo is a sprawling 33 acre park that offers as much for adults as it does for children, making it one of the best family days out in the area. The zoo was opened in 2006, one year after the Mee family purchased the poorly operated former Dartmoor Wildlife Park and transformed into the thriving zoo it is today. The Mee family story is told in the popular book 'We Bought a Zoo', which was made into a major motion picture in 2011 starring Matt Damon. Dartmoor Zoo is now much more than a zoo; it became a not-for-profit charitable incorporated organisation in 2014, and in 2016 it became the home of the Dartmoor Institute for Animal Science.
As of 2019, Dartmoor Zoo is home to 72 mammals, 38 birds, 21 reptile, 16 invertebrates, and 5 amphibians, with one of the zoo's most famous residents being Jasiri, the second biggest African lion in the UK. Among the huge number of animals at the zoo, there are big cats, otters, wolves, goats, zebras, meerkats, monkeys, and lots more. One of the best times to visit the enclosures is during feeding time, when kids can learn more about what the different species really love to eat. There's no need to head home at lunchtime; you can make Dartmoor Zoo a full family day out by popping into the on-site Jaguar restaurant, which serves up a range of hot and cold foods and refreshments.
Dartmoor Zoo is open every day except Christmas Day, between 10:00am - 4:00pm in winter, and 10:00am - 6:00pm in summer. Occasionally, the zoo is closed for private events, so it's always best to check the website here for opening times before travelling. There is free parking at the zoo, and the grounds can also be reached using the local 59 bus service.
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Booking fee is fixed and does not vary according to number of tickets purchased.