Start reading We Bought a Zoo on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
We Bought a Zoo

We Bought a Zoo [Kindle Edition]

Benjamin Mee
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £4.50 (56%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Whispersync for Voice

Now you can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook. Learn more or scan your Kindle library to find matching professional narration for the Kindle books you already own.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £3.49  
Hardcover, Large Print £17.76  
Paperback £5.59  
Audio, CD, Audiobook £20.81  
Audio Download, Unabridged £12.25 or Free with 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Purchase any Kindle Book sold by and receive £1 credit to try out our Digital Music Store. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Product Description


“Mee writes most movingly about his wife’s fatal illness, his children coming to terms with this, his sprightly old mum and, of course, his 200 wild animals in all their diverse glory.”

“We Bought a Zoo by Mee is a genuinely heartwarming true story of triumph over devastating events.”

“An engaging tale from someone who dared to do something different.”

‘’One of the most inspiring books I’ve read.”

“Hard to put down.”

“Most people who spotted the advert appealing for new owners for an ailing zoo would not even have considered the possibility. Much more likely, they would have dismissed the idea out of hand. But one adventurous family saw a challenge and were prepared to meet it head on.”


An engaging tale from someone who dared to do something different

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 515 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007431821
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Entertainment (19 Jan 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9SGU
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

After starting a career as a bricklayer and decorator, Benjamin then began to study and write about animal intelligence, studying psychology at UCL and then completing an MSc in Science Journalism at Imperial College. Benjamin became a contributing editor to Men's Health magazine and a Guardian columnist, and then moved to Southern France, and began writing a book on the Evolution of Humour in Man and Animals. Then the zoo came up for sale, and everything changed.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They bought a zoo, you should buy this book! 20 July 2008
Having visited the place (Dartmoor wildlife park) pre-Mee, I was shocked by the state of the enclosures and the park as a whole. So when I saw that the park had been taken over and that the guy had written a book about his exploits during the renovation and re-opening I was intrigued. This book held me as captive as Mr Mee's animals are (I occasionally escaped to other areas of the house for refreshments etc!), I was unable to put this book down. It is superbly written, filled with interesting titbits of info about animal and human behaviour, adventure, sadness and is sprinkled with humourous moments (I laughed out loud at least 20 times). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend reading it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary my animals & other family . 19 Oct 2011
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Speaking as someone intrinsically averse to taking risks (especially financial I doff my proverbial cap to Benjamin Mee and his family who sank a considerable amount of money, not to mention time ,effort , and love into buying a dilapidated zoo in Dartmoor. Having already moved from London to France to renovate a property there the decision is perhaps not as natural a one as it may first appear.
Even more so when you consider that Benjamin Mee's wife Katherine was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour . Tragically after undertaking the massive project to renovate the zoo and it's environs Katherine died leaving Benjamin a single father to young children as well as a guardian for a whole lot of animals and by proxy the staff at the zoo.
Engagingly recounted with no little wit and a genuine sense of hope and optimism , despite overwhelming odds against Benjamin Mee & his backers( extended family pulling the move off I Bought A Zoo is the epitome of a heart warming uplifting read. And that my friends is not normally something I would indulge in , but I was drawn to this book by an interest in animals and natural history not that zoo's really represent natural history , but you take my point .
If I were to be hyper critical I would point out that the narrative is somewhat muddled. The diagnosis of the tumour takes up a whole chapter , as it should, then completely disappears when the zoo project becomes feasible , only to abruptly jolt back into the story as poor Katherine nears the end.
The news that there was a T.V. series about the zoo came a shock. How did I miss this? There is also a film adaptation , directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson on the way. If it's anywhere near as entertaining and moving as the book we should be in for a treat.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Rowena
I picked this up first in Waterstone's and the first few pages had me smiling and then almost crying. So I bought it on here!

Just couldn't put it down, read it cover to cover. Really liked the style of writing, humorous, vulnerable and revealing in that wonderful English way. Felt included in the journey and privvy to the most fascinating parts of the revamp of the zoo and the authors life.

I have given this book to 3 friends and I am so impressed with it no doubt it will be making an appearance under several Xmas trees this year!
Was this review helpful to you?
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought the book!! 7 Aug 2008
By Robert P. Splaine VINE VOICE
Exceedingly well written, Benjamin's style grips you from page one.
His mother sounds such a wild-card person, l would love to meet her.
be honest how many ladies of 76, decide to sell everything they
own and go in with their son and buy a Zoo.
The Zoo they took on, was in a dire state, and didn't have a licence
to let people see any of the animals, so hope of opening soon as
they bought it went out of the window.
The story tells of his/their ups and downs (and mainly downs),
of getting the zoo together, right up to going to the council
office and seeing if he had passed all the tests councils
require. I read it in 3 days which is quick for me. Very easy
to read, and very entertaining.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, charming, heartfelt 13 Dec 2011
By Gary Hilton VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"We bought a Zoo" (surely the most least imaginative title in literary history!) is a charming tale of a family that....err.....bought a zoo.

The book does exactly what it says on the tin (cover); basically tells how a family bought a run down zoo with the aim of regenerating it and re-opening it to the public. It is told from an honest, caring point-of-view from the author and at times is incredibly moving & heartfelt. One thing that oozes from the pages is the genuine fondness & love of animals, and I would heartily recommend this to both animal lovers & non lovers alike!

If I HAD to find a fault, it would be with the photographs contained within. As is usual with autobiographies/biographies, there are a half dozen pages of photographs that I personally feel are a missed opportunity; Instead of pictures of the sites & areas that are painstainkingly described within its pages, we get pictures of the animals. Now don't get me wrong; it is lovely to see pictures of the big cats described in the book itself, but surely when you've seen one picture of a tiger or a leopard you've seen them all? (Yes Yes...Philistine I know!) But why not show pictures of the prime sites and areas that Ben (the author) has spent full chapters describing? i.e the new kiosk or vetinary surgery, the grubby restaurant (before & after pictures?) Tiger mountain, etc. instead we get a picture of a tiger, a tapir, a lemur, a lynx, a pair of lovebirds....etc zzzzz

Other than this minor quibble I defy anyone after reading this book who doesn't want to rush straight off the Dartmoor to visit the Zoo itself! It is strangely uplifting in this time of the credit crunch, the eurozone crisis, the closing of high street shops etc that a family united can acheive so much! Beautiful.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Book!!!!!
Absolutely love this book.... Have read it a couple times the family went through some tough times but got through. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MissHappy
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Got as good as expected
Published 2 months ago by JILL KNOWLES
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book and Benjamin's real life story.
The film is an adaptation of the book but I enjoyed reading the true story behind this zoo. We visited the zoo recently and thought it was very friendly and a credit to the family,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by rusticles
5.0 out of 5 stars an utterly inspiring story
I read the book a few days after visiting the zoo. Such an inspiring story of determination to achieve a dream. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jackie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very well written and extremely enjoyable, I laughed and cried...Can't wait for the next volume, and also looking forward to visiting DZP.
Published 2 months ago by Sue Kite
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a fabulous true story
Having watched the film and been to the zoo I started to read this book expecting to know what I was going to read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nikki
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
What can I say ....I took my daughter to see the movie and just had to read the true story was a great read.... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nigeo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story for animal lovers
If you love animals you will enjoy this book. The only downside was that I wanted a bit more detail and wanted to see the BBC documentary that ran alongside but can't get hold of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by claire2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming memoir
A heart-warming memoir that tells the story of how the failing Dartmoor Wildlife Park was bought by the Mee family in 2006 and turned around to be re-opened as Dartmoor Zoological... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Claire Field
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Family Video
Good family film, based on a true and inspirational story albeit the true story is about a zoo in South East England
Published 7 months ago by Richard Pickering
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category