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Delegates at this year's autumn meeting of the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) had a chance to learn about birds and bees – as well as mammals, reptiles, fish and invertebrates – and to discuss their experiences of dealing with creatures that don't all appreciate being close to human beings. The meeting marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the BVZS. Gill Harris reports
SAVING species from extinction was the subject addressed by Lee Durrell, honorary director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, who was the plenary speaker at the BVZS's 50th anniversary meeting. She began by talking about the life of her late husband, Gerald Durrell. His interest in animals had grown after his family moved to Corfu when he was 10 years old; these experiences were recounted in his book, ‘My Family and Other Animals’ published in 1956. She explained how Gerald had founded Jersey zoo in 1959 – now known as the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust – and the problems he had to overcome in order to do so. She described it as ‘a modest little zoo and a major force in species conservation’, a fact confirmed by its involvement in 50 projects in 14 countries.
The trust had achieved much because of Gerald's beliefs and determination, she said. …