Mauritius, the green and mountainous island in the Indian Ocean, was once the home of the ill-fated dodo, and by the 1970s it still had many unique but seriously endangered species. To rescue some of these creatures from extinction, Gerald Durrell spent uncomfortable nights in the jungle looking for bats and pink pigeons, and climbed near-vertical rock faces to find Telfair’s skinks and Gunther’s geckos, spending his spare time exploring the enchanted worlds of the coral reefs with their varied multicoloured marine life. By the end of his trip, he had an extraordinary collection of animals to take to his Jersey sanctuary from where the progeny could, in time, be restored to Mauritius.
‘Highly entertaining’ Sunday Telegraph
‘A renegade who was right . . . He was truly a man before his time’ Sir David Attenborough