The Stationary Ark: A Warm, Wise, and Funny Account of His Struggles to Create the Perfect Zoo

The Stationary Ark: A Warm, Wise, and Funny Account of His Struggles to Create the Perfect Zoo

Gerald Durrell

Language: English

Pages: 159

ISBN: 0671228781

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Gerald Durrell was a zoo maniac from the age of two when he starting collecting everything alive, from minnows to woodlice. In this book he writes about setting up the Wildlife Preservation Trust in Jersey - a a place of entertainment, research and eduction.

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of breeding in the first place. So we stood a good chance of being stuck with a male gorilla whom nobody loved, as well as two frustrated spinsters. On top of this was the knowledge that the female gorillas’ present accommodation was only suitable because both specimens were tame and we could go in with them; to put a semi-adult male of uncertain temperament in with them would be asking for trouble. Our finances, as always, were at a low ebb and I knew that we could not possibly find the money

and two sets of bars. This would, we felt, act as a buffer-state, until we got some idea of all three participants’ reactions to the whole idea. N’Pongo and Nandi could tell something curious was going on by all the untoward activity but they had no idea what, since Jambo was still invisible in his travelling crate. The moment arrived, the slide on Jambo’s crate was lifted, the door to the bedroom slid open and Jambo, massive and black as coal, reeking with the garlic-like smell of gorilla

spite of their comparative tameness. But the whole operation had to be conducted with speed, smoothness and efficiency, so that there would be no risk of the gorillas recovering half way through our investigations. We were anxious that their recovery from the anaesthetic should not be unnecessarily delayed and that there should be no risk of them catching cold. Pneumonia, after anaesthetic, is a common complication that can be fatal. Firstly, we noted down the various pieces of equipment that

work. Our incidence of illness, considering the size and scope of the collection, has been extraordinarily light. But this is not to say that we have been totally free. We have had our quota of illnesses, epidemics and accidents from what the insurance companies (who always love laying the blame at other people’s doors) call ‘Acts of God’. Our lack of facilities, however, did cause many problems for our long-suffering veterinary surgeons. A major abdominal operation is fraught with danger in any

with them tiny insects and seeds to be eaten, smells from the outside world to be snuffed and mused upon and then all the feverish excitement and activity that bed-making involves. I have found that this bedroom technique works excellently with most small mammals. I have had a wild squirrel settle down so well that, after three days, when I was forced to clean out his bedroom, he actually came into it and started to tear at the banana leaves and make his bed while I was still pushing them in. In

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