Last Saturday we decided to head to Dartmoor Zoo in Devon, somewhere we have been desperate to visit for a little while now as they now have a new male Lion and Jaguar. The last time we visited was way back in November which you can see here so we were way overdue a visit. You may know the zoo from the film 'We brought a zoo' which is based on the story of Dartmoor zoo's owner Benjamin Mee. I cried watching that film because I spent so many happy memories at the zoo as a child and it gave me the dream of becoming a zoo keeper one day, a dream I still have.
I am kicking myself for not taking enough photos of the beautiful zoo especially the fact that we completely missed out seeing Chincha the new Jaguar and a few of the other animals. We will have to return again during the holidays to see him but the zoo has a blog if you are interested to see what he looks like: dzpkeepers.blogspot.co.uk.
On arrival, we took the long path up to the main part of the zoo stopping briefly to say hello to the Cabybaras who were sleeping by the river. The boys main aim was to get to the new African male lion, Jasiri. We have met him before at his old home in Newquay Zoo so were looking forward to saying hello in his new enclosure. Jasiri was fast asleep when we arrived which I guess is typical of cats. I told the boys to be very quiet to not wake him up. Thomas took this seriously as you can see from the photo below because Alfie was not so quiet.
I don't know if the boys shouts woke him up or if he heard the peacock calling in the distance, but he sat up and gave us a bit of an evil stare.
Around the corner from the male lion's enclosure lives his future mate Josie who I think they will be introducing to each other soon. Josie has been at the zoo for a long time and she is one of my favourite animals to come and watch. She is normally very active, loud and playful but today she was laying in the grass soaking up the sunshine.
I think one of the most popular enclosures at the zoo is the two meerkat houses. There are always lots of people watching them run around, stand guard, and sleep. There are two family groups, one by the Jaguar restaurant located near the entrance of the zoo which is more open and currently has a few little babies. The second just below the big cat enclosures and has a nice viewing window into their sleeping quarters.
Last time we visited Dartmoor zoo Thomas brought a stuffed otter from the gift shop so he asked me if he could bring it back today to show it to the two gorgeous Asian short clawed otters at the zoo. One of the otters seemed to like it as he kept running up and down past Thomas while looking up at the teddy. They are called Jonsi and Attitude and are just the cutest little things, especially when they squeak at you.
Beside the otters is a racoon which the boys loved. He wasn't doing much other than cleaning himself but as the boys love the film Guardians of the galaxy, which features a raccoon if you haven't seen it, they really enjoyed seeing him.
Our very last stop was to see Fudge and Hayley the two brown bears who are both older than I am and looking very well. They were cuddled up together in amongst the wild flowers soaking up the sunshine. One of the bears just about managed to lift their head for me to snap this photo of them before falling back to sleep.
When heading back to the car we had realised that we missed out on seeing quite a lot of animals as we either missed them out completely or they were hidden away in their houses sleeping. The zoo also has Wolves, a Jaguar, Cheetah, lynx, Tapirs, Monkeys, Various exotic birds, reptiles and so much more. Dartmoor Zoo really is a special place and if you are ever in the area I would recommend that you stop for a visit.