Gerald Durrell (1925-95) was the founder of the Jersey Zoological Park (1959). He became a leading expert and activist in the breeding of animals in danger of extinction in their natural habitat. A humorous and persuasive writer and broadcaster, he popularized his work with books such as A Zoo in my Luggage (1960). His own account of growing up in Corfu, My Family and Other Animals (1956) was the subject of a BBC drama series in 1989 and was filmed again on Corfu in 2005.
For five crucially formative years (1935-39) Gerald Durrell lived here, calling it “home” and “paradise”. With its massive twin fortresses, its stately Esplanade, its hundreds of churches, its medieval streets and imposing Venetian architecture, Corfu Town is the focus for an island of villages where traditional local customs continue to thrive against the background of mountains, olive groves and the blueness of the sea. Above all Corfu is the atmosphere which inspired Gerald Durrell, who went on to found the Jersey Zoological Park in 1959, now the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust http://www.durrell.org.
We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the books specifically related to Gerald – My Family and Other Animals, Birds Beasts and Relatives and Garden of the Gods. We would also recommend Douglas Botting’s biography of Gerald as excellent background reading, for those wanting to know more about his work and life.