Double Award Winners Dartmoor Zoo recognised at BIAZA

Dartmoor Zoo’s Discovery and Learning department has been recognised for their work at the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) annual awards ceremony.

Dartmoor Zoo has gone from strength to strength in recent years since Benjamin Mee and his team took ownership of Dartmoor Zoo. The hard work of the team has not gone unnoticed and even saw Hollywood turn their cameras toward the quiet village of Sparkwell to share the amazing story of Benjamin and his family.

Enterprise Challenge

The popular Enterprise Challenge received a silver award, designed for students to experience the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects along with English speaking and listening within a real life, unique setting. It gives students the opportunity to become zoo conservation advocates for the day, deciding which new animal to introduce into the collection, designing an enclosure suitable for that animal and bringing the project in on budget before presenting to a panel of zoo managers. The challenge has received great feedback from teachers across the UK and has gone on to see many big name businesses booking the challenge for team-building activities on staff away days.

Ranger’s Academy

The Zoo’s Rangers Academy course received a Bronze award. Taught by fully qualified educators and senior level Zoo staff, the Rangers Academy course is a five day learning experience for children aged between 13 and 18 years old. It gives them a unique work experience week which offers a taste of animal management and veterinary care work. This week long course attracts people from all over the country and evens helps those students working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.

The winners of this year’s prestigious competition were announced at a special gala dinner hosted by The Deep in Hull. CEO of Dartmoor Zoo Benjamin Mee says ‘BIAZA has 115 member zoos, including ZSL, Chester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Paignton, etc. To get recognition in this field is a huge achievement, and these awards are well deserved.’

Coral Jonas, Head of Discovery and Learning said: ‘This is the first time we have put ourselves forward for the BIAZA awards and we are so pleased to have been recognised for the work we do towards our education programme at Dartmoor Zoo. A big thank you to all the fantastic and dedicated staff and volunteers we have here at the zoo. We have a big couple of years ahead full of exciting projects that I can’t wait to see come into fruition.’

For years Dartmoor Zoo has worked hard to not only care for each of their animals but also to help raise awareness and make significant changes to improve conservation work for many species around the world.

The Zoo has an ever-growing Conservation and Research department that is incredibly active. With links with many Universities and higher education institutions, the Zoo is able to conduct research into cognition, behaviour, conservation, animal welfare and the social sciences.

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