The man who bought a zoo, Benjamin Mee tells him refreshingly moving and unique tale of how he and his family came under the ownership of a zoo. Benjamin is the man behind the bestselling book and film 'We bought a Zoo' Benjamin tells his candid and human tale of how the zoo is now a charity, solidifying its future and conserving its inhabitants. A brilliant and brave keynote speaker, Benjamin can talk on nature, leadership and business.
Benjamin Mee is the man who bought a zoo. The brains, bravery and downright madness behind the story and hit blockbuster movie ‘We bought a Zoo’ starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson is all down to Benjamin’s inspirational story.
This storyteller extraordinaire captures an audience’s ‘animalistic’ imagination in his keynote speeches on the theme of leadership and change. Benjamin emphasises the passion and perseverance it takes to succeed. He reminds us of the importance of striving to meet our goals- even in the face of adversity.
After starting a career as a bricklayer and decorator, Benjamin began to study and write about animal intelligence, studying psychology at UCL and then completing an MSc in Science Journalism at Imperial College. He then became a contributing editor to Men's Health magazine and a Guardian columnist.
After moving to Southern France he began writing a book on the Evolution of Humour in Man and Animals.
Then a dilapidated zoo in Dartmoor came up for sale, and everything changed.
Benjamin is a persuasive man, and, after a series of life changing events convinced his wife Katherine with their young children, to undertake quite possibly the biggest yet courageous adventure of their lives. With no experience of running a zoo Benjamin decided to purchase the rundown Dartmoor Zoological Park in 2006.
Unfortunately, Benjamin’s wife Katherine passed away the following Easter making the possibility of opening the zoo even less likely. Against all the odds, Benjamin opened the zoo in July 2007.
In the same year, the story was subject of a four-part television documentary created by the BBC.
Dartmoor Zoo is now a charity and through crowdfunding, television projects, and his work on the speaking circuit Benjamin is able to help fund the still struggling zoo.
His book, We Bought A Zoo, is an international best seller, with an uplifting and almost unbearably moving story that has been printed in 23 countries. It focuses on this experience of refurbishing and living at the zoo. The book and story was adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster in 2012, staring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, charting The Mee’s leap of faith on the big screen.
Benjamin is officially an Ambassador for Brain Tumour Research and is a key figure in their media and publicity campaign.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums invited Benjamin to sit on their Communications and Development Committee, due to his rare insight of being a Zoo Director as well as his knowledge about regulation, and his journalistic experience.
A truly inspirational and insightful keynote speaker, Benjamin will move audiences with his incredible story of courage and ability to succeed in the face of adversity.
His speaking topics include:
- Animals and animal intelligence
- Leadership and motivation in the face of adversity
- Film, television and print media
- Recovering a business