‘The animals and plants have nobody to speak up for them except us, the human beings who share the world with them but do not own it.’ – Gerald Durrell 1972.
Gerald Durrell is one of my heroes. He was a naturalist who loved animals. He wrote about his early life on Corfu in the 1930s where he lived with his eccentric family and lived an idyllic life with all the animals he collected.
It was a life I could relate to. I spent my childhood wandering the fields, climbing trees, wading through ditches and ponds and collecting caterpillars, newts, frogs, toads, snakes, lizards and slowworms.
Gerald was passionate about conservation. He set up his Wild-life Park as a conservation project that came straight out of his love of animals. He, like me, was utterly distraught by the cruelty and mindless destruction of nature. He did what he could to conserve it.
I don’t like zoos. I don’t like wild animals being confined in unnatural environments for people to ogle at. But I was taken with this wild-life park.
Gerald Durrell was someone I would love to have met.
Gerald Durrell’s house
A photo of Gerald that reminded me of one of me when I was a similar age holding a chimp.