Voting for Natural History Channe Eden’s Top Wildlife Attraction of the Year began back in July and Dartmoor Zoo raced to the top of the leader board finally receiving 3,442 votes to take the accolade. The second place attraction was Monkey Sanctuary Cornwall which received 1,870 votes.
In 2006, the former Dartmoor Wildlife Park was about closed to the public, many of the animals were faced being shot and the land sold to the highest bidder.
That was until an estate agent’s brochure popped through Benjamin Mee’s letterbox featuring the Dartmoor Wildlife Park for sale.
The Mee family bought and saved the zoo and Benjamin and his family moved in. With little funding and virtually no knowledge of how to look after some of the many exotic animals they now owned, the Mee family have worked hard and made Dartmoor Zoo the top attraction it is today.
The story of how the zoo has also captured the imagination of Hollywood. A big screen adaptation of Benjamin’s book We Bought a Zoo is due to arrive in cinemas on December 23 and stars Oscar winner, Matt Damon.
On winning Dartmoor Zoo’s owner, Benjamin Lee, said: “It was a fantastic boost for the team here. We all work incredibly hard to ensure that the visitor experience is the best it can possibly be. The results of the Eden vote show that for an increasingly large number of visitors, this is precisely what we’ve achieved.”