Gerald Durrell was born in India in 1925. His family settled on Corfu when he 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. He writes with wry humour and great perception about both the humans and the animals he meets.
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On leaving Corfu, Durrell returned to England to work at Whipsnade Park as a student keeper. His adventures there are told with characteristic energy in Beasts in My Belfry. A few years later, he began organizing 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. He also visited many countries while shooting various television series.
In 1959 Durrell realized a lifelong dream when he set up the Jersey Zoological Park, followed a few years later by the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, renamed the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in 1999.
Whether in a factual account of an expedition or a work of non-fiction, Durrell’s style is exuberant, passionate and acutely observed. Gerald Durrell died in 1995.