The Aye-aye and I by Gerald Durrell

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The Aye-aye and I

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Gerald Durrell is a world renowned scientist and naturalist whohas made it his life’s work to rescue endangered animals form thebrink of extinction. Durrell is the author of more than twentybooks, including such popular works as THE OVERLOADED ARK (1953)and THE ARK’S ANNIVERSARY (1991). Like his other books, THEAYE-AYE AND I is full of humor as well as detailed descriptions ofwhat it entails to rescue a rare primate in a faraway locale. Durrell founded the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trustapproximately thirty years ago on the island of Jersey. TheAye-aye is an extremely rare primate that lives on the island ofMadagascar. This creature was once thought to be extinct, butremarkably it still survives in colonies in the forests ofMadagascar. Durrell decided that it was his duty to capture someAye-ayes and transport them back to his preserve, where he hopedthat they would breed.

THE AYE-AYE AND I is more than one naturalist’s story about theunique qualities of a rare creature and his efforts to save it fromextinction. Durrell also details how other exotic wildlife onMadagascar has survived, and relates how he kept his humor evenwhile having to deal with the politics of this poor country. Thereare many inconveniences and absurd roadblocks that Durrellencountered that would have dashed the hopes of those lessdedicated. But Durrell persevered against all the odds and cameaway with the remarkable Aye-aye. The author has once againwritten an informative and humorous account of his naturalistsojourns. The reader of THE AYE-AYE AND I will come away enrichedand applaud Durrell for his noble conservationist efforts.