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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Dalton Zoo boss David Gill autobiography extract 2

“I BUILT South Lakes Wild Animal Park because I love animals and I am still absolutely enthralled by them.

“To this day, all these years on, the only thing I’m interested in is animals.

“I do of course love being successful in business, but it’s the animals that keep me enthused. If it weren’t for working with my animals, being able to talk to them, to be around them on a daily basis, I wouldn’t do it.

“I couldn’t be a zoo director who sat in an office, wearing a suit, pushing paperwork around. I am out in the field every day with my wellies on. Many times people do not even realise I am the owner. I am often asked by the public, ‘Is the boss in today?’

“It is ironic and revealing because people do not expect the owner to be out working as hard as his staff, getting dirty. But this is the reason, no doubt, for my success. And it is still what I love best. I want to be in the wild, whether it is in the UK or America, and I want animals around me. I am just thankful to the human race for indulging my love by visiting our wonderful park and enabling me to continue.

“The park is currently in the midst of a huge expansion that will mean it is more spread out and easier for people to enjoy in larger numbers as our visitors continue to increase.

“The total investment is between £3.5 and £4m.

“This sounds a lot but the majority of zoos in the UK would spend that amount on an exhibit. London Zoo once spent around £5m on a gorilla exhibit, an obscene amount.

“Yet, it is my long held concepts of trying to do as much of the work myself which has kept the costs down even on a major expansion project.

“Eventually the park will be three times bigger than when we started and it will cost a fraction of such a development at another zoo because I have designed everything myself and still like to get my hands dirty whenever time permits.

“The difference in my working on the park today is that it comes as a second priority in my life; second to my children.’’

Have your say

He says 'Many times people do not even realise I am the owner. I am often asked by the public, ‘Is the boss in today?’, really?, really?, i am sure nobody asks that. Strange

Posted by S Irwin on 24 May 2012 at 08:40

with the cost of fuel who is going to travel to dalton?.. i cant see any expansion happening as mr gill said work would start straight away?. nothing happening yet..

Posted by ken on 23 May 2012 at 16:01

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