Gerald Durrel

Topics: Gerald Durrell, Biodiversity, Species Pages: 2 (506 words) Published: May 3, 2014
GERALD DURREL
Kelly Zhou 8.6
Gerald Durrell was born in Jamshedpur, India on 7th January 1925, and grew up to be a famous naturalist, animal collector and conservationist. Over his lifetime he wrote over 37 books, went on dozens of animal-collecting trips and hosted numerous television shows including The Amateur Naturalist and Ourselves and Other Animals. As fate would have it, the first word he spoke was "zoo", and insisting on daily visits to the nearest menagerie. This was to be the beginning of an extraordinary journey for the young Gerald. His greatest achievement was the founding of the Jersey Zoo in 1959 as a center for the conservation of endangered species, and the creation of the Jersey Wildlife Conservation Trust (now the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) in 1963. Durrell ran the Zoo from its foundation until his death; his wife Lee is still Honorary Director of the Trust. The untimely death of his father saw the remainder of his family reluctantly relocating to a rather less inviting climate and settling, albeit temporarily, in England. Tiring of the British weather, the family soon made the move to the enchanting Greek island of Corfu, where Gerald explored his passion for the animal kingdom with his inspirational tutor, Dr Theodore Stephanides. Aged 21, a small inheritance allowed Gerald to embark upon the life he had dreamed of - a mix of travel, adventure and zoology. As well as being rich in subject matter for his blossoming writing career, this period was to provide Gerald’s most startling revelation – that species everywhere were on the decline. He resolved to create “a new kind of zoo”. His vision was that zoos could be a sanctuary, and work to provide a “reservoir for endangered species” was somewhat controversial in its time, and two years of frustrating searches for a location in England followed. Gerald gave a personal tour to Princess Anne, who was to become both a Royal Patron and a dedicated supporter for...
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