Welcome back to Zookeeper Diaries, dear readers! In today’s post, we continue our series on famous and influential figures in the world of animal care and conservation. This time, we’re featuring Benjamin Mee, a British zookeeper and author who made headlines when he bought a struggling zoo and turned it into a thriving wildlife haven. Let’s explore his incredible journey and the impact he’s made on the world of animal care and conservation.
Benjamin Mee’s Early Life: An Unlikely Path to Zookeeping
Born in 1965 in Brighton, England, Benjamin Mee pursued a career in journalism, specializing in animal behavior and writing for several publications. However, his life took an unexpected turn in 2006 when his family decided to buy a dilapidated zoo in Dartmoor, England, despite having no previous experience in running a zoo.
The Birth of Dartmoor Zoological Park: A Family Affair
In 2007, Benjamin Mee and his family took over the zoo, which was facing financial difficulties and the threat of closure. They renamed it Dartmoor Zoological Park and embarked on a challenging journey to turn the struggling zoo around. With the help of dedicated staff and volunteers, they worked tirelessly to renovate the zoo and improve the welfare of the animals.
We Bought a Zoo: The Book and Movie
Benjamin Mee’s extraordinary story caught the attention of the media, leading him to write a book about his family’s experiences, titled “We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken-Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever.” In 2011, the book was adapted into a Hollywood movie, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, bringing international attention to the zoo and its conservation efforts.
Conservation and Education at Dartmoor Zoological Park
Under Benjamin Mee’s leadership, Dartmoor Zoological Park has become a center for wildlife conservation and education. The zoo is home to a diverse range of animals, including big cats, bears, and reptiles, and is actively involved in global conservation programs. The zoo also runs educational programs and workshops for visitors, inspiring the next generation of conservationists.
Benjamin Mee’s Lasting Impact on Zookeeping and Conservation
Benjamin Mee’s determination to save Dartmoor Zoological Park and his commitment to improving animal welfare have made a significant impact in the world of animal care and conservation. His story has inspired others to follow their passions and has raised awareness about the importance of zoos as centers for conservation and education.
Join us next time on Zookeeper Diaries as we continue our series on famous figures in the world of animal care and conservation, exploring the lives and contributions of the people who have made a significant impact on our understanding and protection of wildlife. Don’t forget to subscribe and share our blog with your friends and fellow animal enthusiasts!
Until next time,