IT’S THE BIRTHDAY in 1925 of Gerald Durrell, officially referred to as a British conservation biologist, but known worldwide with great affection as a naturalist, conservationist, zookeeper, author, and founder of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and the Jersey Zoo, now renamed the Durrell Wildlife on the island of Jersey. His is at the top of my list of recommended memoirs, in no small part because Gerald Durrell’s memoir has the very best title.
Born in India, his family eventually settled on the island of Corfu, during which time he made a special study of zoology, and kept a large number of the local wild animals as pets, all of which he has written about in his many delightful books, though his best known is My Family and Other Animals, published in 1956, which tells of his oddball, though marvelous childhood on Corfu. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s mission is to save species from extinction, and it’s been doing so for fifty years, through a variety of programs, including the truly admirable system they have in place the development of future conservationists, through which they have educated over 1,800 graduates from around 122 countries. Want to know more? Read up here.