Mee only managed to persuade the owners of the zoo to sell it to someone with no experience of running it and no finances to redevelop one when no other buyer could be found and the animals faced being shot.
He took over the estate and the family moved into its 12-bedroom house while there were five Siberian tigers, three African lions, nine wolves, three brown European bears, two pumas, a lynx, four Asian short-clawed otters, two flamingos, quite a lot of owls and a Brazilian tapir called Ronnie, reports The Telegraph.
Cameron Crowe will direct the film, financed by 20th Century Fox.
London, (ANI): American actor Matt Damon will be playing the role of an amateur Devon zookeeper in an upcoming film. The 39-year-old actor will portray the role of Benjamin Mee, whose mother sold Surrey home so that her family could buy Dartmoor Zoo when it was about to go out of business.