Interview: How to Buy a Zoo with Benjamin Mee
Benjamin Mee is the Director of Dartmoor Zoological Park, which is a 33 acre zoological garden in southwest England. He was kind of a bad boy who turned his life around at 19 years old. His book, the movie, and the turning point in his life when he bought a zoo for his mom to live in is discussed.
Below is a summary of our interview:
Through his father, Benjamin learned “Nothing worthwhile is easy to achieve.”
As a teenager, Benjamin had been expelled at three schools. He went to university in London and studied Pscyhology; in his third year, he specialized in Animal Intelligence, wrote a dissertation and did a Masters degree in Science Journalism. This journey lasted seven years.
A Low Point
Benjamin was expelled because he was very naughty. He particularly hated school. It wasn’t the right place for him. They were shoving information down his throat, but he had to find it out for himself. Now he speaks to teenagers telling them, “You don’t have to be expelled to appreciate learning.”
When Benjamin was 19, he was reading the Times in England and it was being splattered with rain on his lunch break. While reading this article about the dolphins, he thought some guy’s job is to sit by the Red sea with dolphins and he thought “that’s a cool job and that would be fun.” So Benjamin thought about how did that guy get that job and had to get the basic qualifications and worked out how to get into university.
Benjamin’s work now
He doesn’t say he’s a Zoo Director because that becomes a two-hour conversation. Ben thinks of himself as a writer and encapsulates the information he gets and puts it out to a wide audience. Post “We Bought a Zoo” it became difficult to keep it to just Dartmoor Zoo, because everyone asks what Matt Damon is like. There was a 2011 release of the movie, We Bought a Zoo, based on Benjamin’s book and Matt Damon was cast in it.
What’s exciting Benjamin now
At Darmoor Zoo, Ben works closely works with the universities, so shen researchers at universities want to look at Dartmoor’s animals, and always gives them a “Yes.” How the education side of the Zoo is working for Benjamin is exciting.
Book Benjamin Recommends:[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”1451626657″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kqbC3YKvL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”purposerockst-20″ width=”104″]
Cleaning and tidying up.
Ben called out his teacher, Dorothy Humphries
Zoo Chat and Zoo Forum are two places that the Dartmoor Zoo keepers use
What’s Your Purpose:
To improve the world a little bit and to encourage people is what Ben thinks.
Where to follow Benjamin and Parting Words
And “Do the right thing,” Benjamin said.