Catch Me a Colobus Author:Gerald Durrell Catch Me a Colubus features Gerald Durrell in three of his most popular and altruistic roles-zookeeper, ecologist, and animal lover. Reaching new anecdotal heights, everybody's favorite naturalist-humorist chronicles a life enhanced not just by such things as escaped chimpanzees tearing apart a bedroom or a lioness in difficult labor, but also ... more »by the hazards of breeding such rare species as the Colobus Monkey and the Teporingo or Volcano Rabbit.
Durrell also makes a suspenseful capital out of expeditions to Sierra Leone and Mexico to procure endangered animals for his Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, and reports his discovery, while on a whistle-stop tour of Africa, of one of the unwritten rules of animal-collection: that native hunters "always imagine that if they could make out the animal they brought you to be3 more savage than it was, you would automatically pay more for it." The savage beast for which he overpays, of course, turns out to be a cute little spot-nosed monkey "who would have fitted conveniently into a large teacup." Durrell's bartering stance: "Dis beef no go bite."
Needless to say, this very personal and important book in the Durrell oeuvre is dotted with portraits of the many human animals its author has had to meet, and includes his shrewd observations of the "extraordinary" behavior of his zoo's visitors. Mostly, though, he brings his readers ever closer to the wildlife that is his major concern, and ends with an eloquent plea to his followers everywhere: "Remember," he writes "that the animals and plants have no M.P. they can write to; they can't perform sit-down strikes; they have nobody to speak for them except us, the human beings who share the world with them but do not own it."« less