Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Former Dartmoor Zoo owner: 'current boss who has lost a lynx is destroying our legacy'

29 JULY 2016 • 4:08PM

The former owners of a zoo have launched a scathing attack on their successor after the escape of a lynx- and accused him of destroying their legacy.

Ben Mee bought Dartmoor Zoo from the Daw family in 2006 after they had owned it for 36 years. His story was popularised in the film We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon.

But Lynne Daw, 64, who ran it with her former husband Ellis, says she is distraught at how he has run things and were devastated he let a big cat escape from the grounds.

They have also accused Mr Mee of neglecting the health and safety of the animals in lieu of promoting himself.

And they claim he has "invented" a story about them releasing pumas into the wild to distract from his own safety lapses.

Owner of Dartmoor Zoo discusses escaped lynxPlay!01:09

In response, Mr Mee said he was disappointed with the family's comments and that his zoo has all the required safety features.

But Mrs Daw, of Plymouth, Devon, said: "We ran the zoo for 36 years and I was always in charge of the big cats. I am so, so angry with what I have heard him claim.

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