One of my heroes.

A pioneer animal conservationist and much-loved author, Gerald Durrell has always been a character I have admired, I think I first started reading his books while visiting relatives at the age 11. The following letter was penned by him and embedded in a time capsule at Jersey Zoo1 in 1987.

To Whom It May Concern

Many of us, though not all, recognise the following things:

  1. All political and religious differences that at present slow down,entangle and strangle progress in the world will have to be solved in a civilised manner
  2. All other life forms have as much right to exist as we have and that indeed without the bulk of them we would perish
  3. Overpopulation is a menace that must be addressed by all countries; if allowed to continue it is a Gadarene syndrome which will cause nothing but doom
  4. Ecosystems are intricate and vulnerable; once misused, disfigured or greedily exploited they will vanish to our detriment. Used wisely they provide boundless treasure. Used unwisely they create misery, starvation and death to the human race and to a myriad of other lifeforms
  5. It is stupid to destroy things such as rainforests, especially because in these great webs of life may be embedded secrets of incalculable value to the human race
  6. The world is to us what the Garden of Eden was supposed to be to Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were banished, but we are banishing ourselves from Eden. The difference is that Adam and Eve had somewhere else to go. We have nowhere else to go

We hope that by the time you read this you will have at least partially curtailed our reckless greed and stupidity. If we have not, at least some of us have tried…

We hope that you will be grateful for having been born into such a magical world.

Gerald Durrell