VIDEO: Olympic champion faces snake fears for cancer charity
Dartmoor Zoo has launched the 'Conquer it Together' national campaign to raise £1 million to build a new centre for brain tumour research.
Newly-appointed patron to the Brain Tumour Research charity, Olympic rowing champion Mark Hunter came face to face with a creature he fears the most for the official launch – a snake. The event was challenging people to raise money whilst conquering a personal fear or taking on a new challenge.
He'd picked the right place – Dartmoor Zoo is home to a host of reptiles and amphibians, including the Red-tailed Boa and Poison Dart Frogs. Said Mark: "I am pretty fearful of all snakes, in truth. The way they move freaks me out!"
Dartmoor Zoo was the subject of Hollywood film We Bought A Zoo starring Matt Damon. Its owner, Benjamin Mee, does a lot of work with universities and for him, it's a personal issue – he lost his wife, Katherine, at the age of 40 to a brain tumour shortly after buying the zoo in 2006.
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"It's a terrible disease with less than 19% of those diagnosed surviving beyond five years," Ben said.
Former MP Ann Widdecombe – who lives on Dartmoor – also joined Mark and Ben in supporting the cause.