Benjamin Mee – Keynote Speaker

Benjamin Mee is the author of We Bought a Zoo the amazing story of a broken down zoo and the 200 animals who changed his life forever

Looking for fees and availability for Benjamin Mee?
Benjamin Mee Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Motivation
  • Teamwork
  • Teambuilding
  • Achieving Goals
  • Overcoming Obstacles


  • English


Due to his background and media and broadcast experience, Benjamin Mee has now been asked to be on the BIAZA Communications and Development Committee (C&DC). C&DC advises the BIAZA office with regards to marketing and PR, oversees any promotional activity, campaigns and communication on the work of members to the community at large. He is uniquely placed to be on this committee as he has the rare insight of an insider, being a Zoo Director himself and being knowledgeable about regulation, and also as an outsider looking in, thanks to his journalistic experience.

Benjamin is looking forward to beginning his time of the committee, and will work towards the aim of making zoos less mysterious and more accessible to the public, and of educating and engaging with the 24 million people who visit UK zoos every year. He would also like to work with the committee towards being more responsive to external events and actively engaging in key debates. This will also involve defending zoos against their unthinking critics. He is keen to ensure that the valuable, and vital, work in conservation and research that zoos are involved in to help increase numbers of endangered animals and protect the habitats of the wild is highlighted and celebrated

Benjamin’s emotive story is one of courage, resilience and enterprise. When he and his family learned that Dartmoor Zoo would be closed down if a buyer could not be found, he fought against all odds and bought it. He then found himself with an uphill battle juggling the complexities of managing a zoo and getting it ready for opening while facing the consequences of his wife’s terminal illness and caring for two young children.

Benjamin has unwavering passion for transforming lives through knowledge, collaboration and partnership and encouraging sustainability through shared practice in the context of conservation. Despite a turbulent relationship with the education system in his youth, Benjamin went on to study Psychology at UCL and completed and MSc in Science Journalism at Imperial College.

He became a contributing editor to Men’s Health and a Guardian columnist before he moved to Southern France and began writing a book on the Evolution of Humour in Man and Animals.

Benjamin Mee has a relaxed and informal speaking style. Eloquent entertaining and human, Benjamin tailors his speeches for each individual client. He has an array of inspiring and uplifting themes where he strives to apply his enthusiasm, commitment and passion to every audience he addresses.

In an engaging and amusing way Benjamin draws on his experiences of buying a zoo, overcoming obstacles and having his story made into a film, highlighting key themes for his clients.

“Benjamin Mee spoke to an audience of over 300 retail professionals with the utmost passion and enthusiasm about his story of buying a Zoo. His empathetic approach engaged the audience and they continued to listen to his every word. Benjamin has a natural ability to inject humour into his speech whilst at the same time delivering some very serious points on this amazing risk taking project. This is a unique story with many important business messages and one which the audience will remember for a long time to come. We loo forward to working with Benjamin again in the near future” Jan Jenkins Managing Director Room 54 Ltd – Tesco

“Benjamin Mee was truly inspirational, a story told from the heart and very different to the usual motivation speakers. it was the first time I have seen delegates queue to shake a speakers hand. Jill Leake , Royal Mail

Watch Benjamin Mee speaking

Want to book Benjamin Mee as a keynote speaker for your next event?