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

Publisher: Anchor Canada
The remarkable true story of a family who move into a rundown zoo– already a BBC documentary miniseries and excerpted in The Guardian.

In the market for a house and an adventure, Benjamin Mee moved his family to an unlikely new home: a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a dream to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. His friends and colleagues thought he was crazy.

But in 2006, Mee and his wife with their two children, his brother, and his 76-year-old mother moved into the Dartmoor Wildlife Park. Their extended family now included: Solomon, an African lion and scourge of the local golf course; Zak, the rickety Alpha wolf, a broadly benevolent dictator clinging to power; Ronnie, a Brazilian tapir, easily capable of killing a man, but hopelessly soppy; and Sovereign, a jaguar and would-be ninja, who has devised a long term escape plan and implemented it.

Nothing was easy, given the family’s lack of experience as zookeepers, and what follows is a magical exploration of the mysteries of the animal kingdom, the power of family, and the triumph of hope over tragedy. We Bought a Zoo is a profoundly moving portrait of an unforgettable family living in the most extraordinary circumstances.


From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

Mum and I arrived as the new owners Wildlife Park in Devon for the first time at around six o’clock on the evening of 20 October 2006, and stepped out of the car to the sound of wolves howling in the misty darkness. My brother Duncan had turned on every light in the house to welcome us, and each...
Read More

PRAISE FOR

“Fascinating…. Moving, funny and informative, [Mee’s] memoir is an amazing read.”
Winnipeg Sun

“What a great story … definitely the stuff of dreams.”
London Free Press

“Charming throughout and touching as well.”
New York Daily News

“Mee writes movingly about his wife’s fatal illness, his children coming to terms with this, his sprightly old mum and, of course, his 200 wild animals in all their diverse glory.”
Daily Mail (UK)


From the Hardcover edition.