Read Catch Me a Colobus by Gerald Durrell Free Online
Book Title: Catch Me a Colobus|
Date of issue: January 1st 1978
ISBN 13: 9780708900949
The author of the book: Gerald Durrell
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 842 KB
Read full description of the books Catch Me a Colobus:If you’ve never read anything by the late English naturalist Gerald Durrell, you’re in for an absolute treat. I’d recommend starting with The Corfu Trilogy, his hilarious account of growing up on a Greek island in an eccentric family that also included novelist Lawrence Durrell. Yet he is perhaps best known for his wonderfully readable travelogues describing international animal collecting journeys. This is, I think, the third one I’ve read so far, and though they do all follow a similar pattern they don’t become formulaic.
I especially appreciated this one because I had the good fortune to read it while on vacation at Durrell Wildlife Park on the island of Jersey (in the Channel Islands off of France) last weekend. Durrell’s is no standard zoo, but a conservation-oriented center that links captive breeding and work on the ground in native countries in the effort to save endangered animals from extinction. Though there are no colobus monkeys at the zoo today, it does still specialize in primates, with lemurs, gibbons, gorillas and orangutans taking pride of place.
Catch Me a Colobus is a sort of sequel to Menagerie Manor, which chronicled the setting up of Jersey Zoo. Durrell returned from a trip to Australia and New Zealand (the subject of Two In The Bush) to find his zoo close to bankruptcy. He started the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust and, between the financial support of donors and his own writing, managed to rescue the zoo. The rest of the book details his trips to Sierra Leone and Mexico (the latter section is a bit shoe-horned in, like he had some leftover material but not enough to fill a whole books on its own), all filled with the same sorts of madcap adventures and quirky characters beloved by readers of his autobiographical works.
His passion for conserving the natural world comes through clearly:
The world is as delicate and as complicated as a spider’s web, and like a spider’s web, if you touch one thread, you send shudders running through all the other threads that make up the web. But we’re not just touching the web, we’re tearing great holes in it; we’re waging a sort of biological war on the world around us…By our thoughtlessness, our greed and our stupidity we will have created, within the next fifty years or perhaps even less, a biological situation whereby we will find it difficult to live in the world at all.
Those words were prescient when the book was first published in 1972, and even more telling now, more than four decades later.
(This review formed part of an article about books for animal lovers on Bookkaholic.)
Read information about the authorGerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell was born in India in 1925. His family settled on Corfu when Durrell was a boy and he spent his time studying its wildlife. He relates these experiences in the trilogy beginning with My Family and Other Animals, and continuing with Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods. In his books he writes with wry humour and great perception about both the humans and the animals he meets.
On leaving Corfu he returned to England to work on the staff of Whipsnade Park as a student keeper. His adventures there are told with characteristic energy in Beasts in My Belfry. A few years later, Durrell began organising his own animal-collecting expeditions. The first, to the Cameroons, was followed by expeditions to Paraguay, Argentina and Sierra Leone. He recounts these experiences in a number of books, including The Drunken Forest. Durrell also visited many countries while shooting various television series, including An Amateur Naturalist.
In 1958 Gerald Durrell realised a lifelong dream when he set up the Jersey Zoological Park, followed a few years later by the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.
Rosy is My Relative, his first novel, was published in 1968. Whether in a factual account of an expedition or a work of non-fiction, Gerald Durrell's style is exuberant, passionate and acutely observed. Gerald Durrell died in 1995.
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