There and Back Again
August 25, 2014 11:21 AM Subscribe
"Even as a very small boy I was utterly fascinated by animals of every kind."
Shortly before his 19th birthday in December 1957, Bob Goulding accompanied Gerald Durrell
on an animal collecting trip to Cameroon. "Our trip to Cameroon, which lasted around six months, is the subject of Durrell’s book ‘A Zoo in my Luggage’, published in 1960 by Rupert Hart-Davis. I am Durrell’s ‘young assistant Bob’ in the book."
This was neither the beginning nor the end of a life-long involvement and fascination with tropical natural history which saw Goulding later take over management of the zoo attached to the Department of Zoology of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
in 1963. Now retired back to Bristol, he keeps a personal website which contains a fascinating record of those pioneering years. Particularly poignant is the story of the two gorillas, Aruna and Imade
, from their capture by hunters to the years of their maturity.
Under Golding's leadership Ibadan Zoo became an early and exemplary instance of zoo habitat design.
The website contains an account of building the gorilla enclosure; a heartfelt acknowledgement of his former staff; letters from past visitors, now grown up
; stories of research and collecting; a snapshot of Nigeria in the 60's and 70's; an overview of local fauna; and lots and lots of photographs! Also, hairy frogs
(don't look at them.)
posted by glasseyes (11 comments total)
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