Christmas has come early for the animals at Devon based wildlife park, Dartmoor Zoological Society, following the successful charity prize draw at Exeter Chamber’s Exeter Business Dinner in November.
The guest speaker this year was Benjamin Mee, who in 2006, discovered Dartmoor Wildlife Park which at the time was in severe financial hardship. Benjamin and his family stepped forward to save the animals and the zoo, starting a year-long struggle to get the zoo ready to re-open. They achieved this in 2007, under the new name of Dartmoor Zoological Park and in 2008, Benjamin published his memoir ‘We Bought a Zoo’ which was released by 20th Century Fox as a Hollywood film in 2011.
Since reopening, Dartmoor Zoological Park has continued to go from strength to strength with awards and titles being won over the past 11 years, including being accepted into BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria) which is the benchmark for all collections aspiring to excellence. The zoo also launched The Dartmoor Institute of Animal Science on site in 2016 with the University of Plymouth and aim to be a leading animal cognition research centre.
Derek Phillips, vice president of Exeter Chamber of Commerce said: “Exeter has had much to be proud of this year and following an outstandingly successful event where Benjamin Mee gave our guests an enlightening speech into the life of a zoo owner, we are delighted to be able to support Dartmoor Zoo’s further conservation work and education for future Devon graduates.”
Exeter Chamber of Commerce celebrated their 14th Annual Dinner on Friday 2nd November at Sandy Park Conference Centre with 320 people attending the prestigious black tie event. Global Media & Entertainment and Kirk Hills Chartered Accountants were this year’s headline sponsors.
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