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Dartmoor zoo's battle for survival

31.08.2010
Příroda
It's four years since Benjamin Mee bought Dartmoor zoo. But while Hollywood is turning his story into a film, his little zoo is struggling against extinction - just like the endangered species he cares forIn 2006, while writing a book on humour in animals, I unexpectedly found myself becoming a zoo director. We were looking for a large house for my mother to live in with some of her children and grandchildren, and the details for Dartmoor zoo came up. We laughed, then we visited, and then realised that if we didn't buy it, most of its gorgeous animals would be destroyed. Six months later, I had a brand new line of excuses for submitting my copy late: "I'm afraid a wolf escaped and it took most of the day to get it back, and now I'm a bit tied up with the council . . ."I figured running a zoo would be harder than I thought. And I was right. Big bills (not just the ones belonging to our two macaw parrots) are a fact of zoo life. When one of our visitors thought it a good idea to throw a lifebelt into the tiger moat, naturally the cats bit it, and one broke a tooth. The cost: ?4,200 - that's two thirds of a month's mortgage payment, or three keepers' wages, slightly less than our monthly electricity bill, or slightly more than our insurance premium. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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