CATCH ME A COLOBUS by Gerald Durrell


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Naturalist Durrell, who has written before of his field work and in situ experiences with animals (but more amusingly of human eccentricities), reviews some recent matters having to do with his zoo in Jersey, England. Durrell is the founder of a trust, the object and goal of which is to help preserve threatened species by breeding them in captivity. To date his zoo is the only one in the world, he claims, to breed Colobus monkeys, and it has the largest stock of white-eared pheasants outside China. Durrell relates tribulations and triumphs during collecting trips to West Africa and Central America and there are also reports on individual zoo favorites with explicit details of illnesses, sad deaths (two macaws were sat on by a visitor) and dietary experimentation. Zoo fanciers who at present are pressing for more awareness of psychological and environmental needs of captive animals might feel that Durrell is too much bound to the iron-bars school of zoo-keeping, but there is little doubt that he is making a contribution to public acceptance of the need of preservation. Entertainingly anecdotal and incidentally informative.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1972
Publisher: Viking