Dartmoor Zoological ParkWebsite



Sparkwell Plymouth Devon, England.


The zoo has an onsite play area where kids can play.

Talks and feeds
Each day there are a number of talks and feeds including some where you can get up close to the animals. On some days there is a falconry display where you can watch birds in flight.

Remember to check the zoo’s website for specific times and the activities which are occurring on that day.

The Size of the zoo

Dartmoor Zoological Park is set on 12ha (30 acres) of land.


Dartmoor Wildlife Park as it was known at the time opened in 1968.

In 2001 the Captive Animals Protection Society rasied questions about conditions at the zoo. The council wouldn’t revoke the licence due to concerns over the future of the animals. The owner was charged with breeding Siberian tigers outside of an organised breeding program.

In April 2006 the zoo was forced to close to the public. During August 2006 the zoo was brought for £1.1 million. It was purchased by the Mee family. Benjamin Mee became the director and went on to write a book on the purchase titled We Brought A Zoo. This was later made into a movie. A TV show was also filmed titled Ben’s Zoo.

After a £500,000 refurbishment the zoo reopened on 7 July 2007. It was renamed at this time as Dartmoor Zoological Park.

Star Animals

Sovereign the jaguar
Sovereign featured in Benjamin Mee’s book on purchasing the zoo, We bought a Zoo due to his escape into the neighbouring tiger enclosure. He was eventually recaptured and returned to his enclosure. He has since passed away.

Main Exhibits

Major habitats at the zoo include an African plains paddock with lechwe and ostrich. A number of the enclosures have been praised for the way they allow visitors to feel they are closer to the animals and there appear to be no barriers.