Here you can see the latest news on what Benjamin has been up to.
THE MEE KIDS ON TV!
27th November 2014
Since the beginning of the year Ella and Milo, Benjamin's children, have been filmed for CBBC programme: 'My Life'. Their episode is called 'We Live in a Zoo' and follows the children about their lives, and to Portugal where they track wolves as part of a conservation programme for Iberian wolves.
The Iberian wolf conservation programme is something Dartmoor Zoo is heavily involved with, and the aim is that their involvement will save many wolves from being killed.
Watch the episode here and learn more about the Iberian wolves!
BRAIN TUMOUR CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE OPENS IN PLYMOUTH
20th November 2014
Benjamin attended the opening of the new Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence in Plymouth.
"The new Centre of Excellence will sit within Plymouth University Schools of Dentistry and Medicine and will be led by Professor Oliver Hanemann. Already holding a reputation as a leading facility in Europe looking at low-grade brain tumours, the team will be able to further advance to translational research – taking research from the laboratory bench to drug testing and clinical trials. This will include exploring potential for the repurposing of existing drugs to ‘fast-track’ potential treatments, instead of waiting for new drugs to be developed, tested and trialled and passed for patient use – a process that can take a decade or longer."
You can read more about the Centre here. Benjamin lost his wife Katherine to a brain tumour in 2007 and follows the research into the disease closely. He is an ambassador for the charity, Brain Tumour Research, and was proud to be involved within the opening."After my wife's diagnosis I felt like we'd be dealt three blows. My wife had a brain tumour, my children were facing growing up without their mother, and my own frustration that so little is known about this disease. Today we are taking a positive step towards a time when others won't have to face the devastation my family and I have had to face."
ESTRELA MOUNTAIN DOG ARRIVES
19th November 2014
Eva, a 4 month old Estrela mountain dog pup arrived at Dartmoor Zoo. She's going to be part of a conservation programme to protect Iberian wolves.
This is her with Ella (and Milo! hidden behind her ear) having just got off the plane from Portugal.
Conservation and breeding programmes mean nothing if the attitude of the locals is not changed. At present wolves are seen as a threat as they attack livestock, and so they are killed. By educating them as to how endangered the wolves are, and also by giving farmers dogs to protect their cattle so the wolves don't attack them, it's one way of working on the ground to conserve these amazing animals.
'ADD TO CART: DARTMOOR ZOO' EXCLUSIVE EXTRACTS
17th November 2014
Exclusive extracts are now available to download of Benjamin's new book 'Add to cart: Dartmoor Zoo'. It is the follow up to 'We Bought A Zoo', and cover 'what happened next?!' as well as the crowdfund process currently underway. Download the three exclusive extracts: Add to cart extracts.pdf
People who donate to the crowdfund will be the first to receive advanced copies of the ebook as a thank you from Benjamin for their support.
CROWDFUND DARTMOOR ZOO IS LAUNCHED
17th November 2014
At 10am on 17th November 2014, Benjamin Mee - Director of Dartmoor Zoo, launched a crowdfund campaign which will help Dartmoor Zoo convert fully to charitable status and secure the future of the zoo as a centre of excellence for education, conservation and research. This will give the animals, and everyone at the Zoo, security, and enable us to accomplish our goals. Visit the Dartmoor Zoo website to learn more about the projects that are underway or are aspired to begin once the charity comes into force.
Our aspirations for the future are unashamedly ambitious - and will have a global impact. As well as developing our international conservation and education programmes, we aim to establish a world class research centre in animal cognition, exploring animal consciousness to promote the rights and welfare of animals everywhere. But our project is also about regenerating people, using the platform of the zoo to encourage volunteering, training and education, from pre-school to postgraduate and beyond. People from around the world have been inspired by this story of hope. Now everyone can actively participate in keeping this hope alive.
You can be part of the crowd and donate to secure the future of this incredible zoo and the wonderful animals that call it home. Go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/crowdfund-dartmoor-zoo and make a difference.
Every single person who donates will be sent a digital thank you, along with an mp3 of Vlad chuffing, the noise he makes to say hello! In addition you will have your name on a monument which will be going at the centre of the zoo to say thank you and remember all those who helped forever. AND you'll also be influencing the outcome of Benjamin Mee's new book, Add to cart: Dartmoor Zoo, the follow up to We Bought A Zoo,. You will get an electronic copy of this new book, which documents what happened after his first book ends, and includes this process. You are literally making history by showing your support.
You can read three exclusive extracts from this new book: Add to cart extracts.pdf
#CrowdfundDartmoorZoo THUNDERCLAP CAMPAIGN
9th November 2014
A Thunderclap campaign has been launched in the build up to the crowdfunding campaign which aims to secure the future of Dartmoor Zoo.
In 2006 the Mee family bought Dartmoor Zoo to prevent the majority of animals from being destroyed.
Since then, despite the release of the Hollywood film 'We Bought a Zoo' which was based on the bestselling book by Benjamin, the threat to the zoo remains. Two global recessions and five of the wettest English summers on record have shown that this zoo needs to shift its centre of gravity from dependence on seasonal tourists towards becoming a charity focusing on research and education. This process is already well underway.
The aspirations for the future of Dartmoor Zoo are unashamedly ambitious - and will have a global impact. As well as developing the international conservation and education programmes, the aim is to establish a world class research centre in animal cognition, exploring animal consciousness to promote the rights and welfare of animals everywhere, an area of significant interest for Benjamin. The project is also about regenerating people, using the platform of the zoo to encourage volunteering, training and education, from pre-school to postgraduate and beyond. People from around the world have been inspired by this story of hope. Now everyone can actively participate in keeping this hope alive.
You can join Benjamin Mee in this incredible Crowdfund, launching on 17 November 2014, which will enable the zoo to become a charity, based on Dartmoor, for the next 100 years.
If you would like to show your support please visit the Thunderclap page here or use the link above and sign up!
ASBO THE CROW HELPS IN THE STUDY OF ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE
16th October 2014
A journalist and photographer visited the zoo to do a seasonal feature. Whilst on site they were captivated by Asbo the crow. Asbo has been brought to Dartmoor Zoo after he had to be removed from a London Borough after he spent months causing chaos, and then started attacking the milkman.
At Dartmoor Zoo he has a new home and is helping Plymouth University research students study animal intelligence, a huge passion of Ben's.
The students have set up experiments to look at his behaviour and intelligence, such as observing him finding a ball hiding under three cups, and although he's settling in well to academic life, he still shows us occasionally why he's called Asbo!
Read the full article from the Plymouth Herald here.