Adventures of a Young Naturalist – the Zoo Quest Expeditions
Two Roads, 2017
This substantial volume is a re-issue of Attenborough’s first three Zoo Quest books, recounting his expeditions to Guyana, Indonesia and Paraguay in the late 1950s, “slightly abbreviated and updated from the originals,” as he says in the Introduction.
The Zoo Quests were joint projects of the London Zoo and the BBC in which minuscule expeditions set out to collect wildlife for the Zoo with a TV cameraman recording the process. Collecting expeditions were regular operations of all zoos at the time, and I for one grew up loving Gerald Durrell’s very funny books about similar expeditions, but making one into a TV show was a novel idea Continue reading “Adventures of a Young Attenborough”
My holidays took me to Melbourne and Hobart in the last few weeks and on Good Friday I enjoyed a ramble around the Melbourne Zoo, a place I first visited as a rather small child. It has changed for the better in many ways since then but the layout is still a labyrinth which rewards aimless wandering but can frustrate the targeted search for a particular exhibit. Never mind – we enjoyed all we did see and ran out of time before we ran out of things we wanted to see. The selection of photos above is almost as haphazard as our route: out of the creatures we saw, these let me get reasonable portraits without waiting too long. As usual, clicking on the thumbnail will take you to a bigger image.
The biggest improvement during my lifetime must be in the conditions the animals are kept in, but it is good to see the emphasis on conservation: