Author(s): Gerald Durrell
There were, unfortunately, no schools for incipient animal collectors and none of the professional collectors then operating would take on anybody who had only unbounded enthusiasm and very little practical experience to offer. Gerald Durrell, who would one day become a much-loved conservationist and author, dreamt of running his own zoo. In "Beasts in my Belfry", he takes his first step towards fulfilling his ambition in this charming account of his job as a student keeper in Whipsnade Park in 1945. With notebook and pen in hand, the eager young Durrell observes his co-workers and animal charges alike, including Albert, the ventriloquist lion, who amuses himself by jumping out at people. Whether getting dirty mucking out the buffalo enclosure or attempting to cajole a skittish gnu into a transportation crate, life in the zoo is certainly never boring.