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The Zoo Quest Expeditions, by David Attenborough

The Zoo Quest Expeditions

By David Attenborough


Full of evocative descriptions of animals, people and places, this is the famous broadcaster's account of his journeys in search of rare and bizarre creatures for the BBC's 'Zoo Quest' programme.

Available as: Hardback

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About this Book

David Attenborough first established his current reputation on television with his Zoo Quest series, and these original accounts of his travels proved him to be an excellent writer and a gifted and amusing story teller. This edition brings together, slightly abridged, his descriptions of three journeys – to Guyana where he explored the broad savannahs of the Rupununi, the creeks and swamps of the coast, and the remote forest reserve of the Amerindians; to Indonesia in search of the Komodo dragon; and to Paraguay to seek, among other animals, the elusive giant armadillo.

The book abounds with superb vignettes of bizarre characters – Mistah King, the mermaid fisherman; the shanty singers Lord Lucifer and the Great Smasher; Comelli, the wandering jaguar hunter; and the fat, jolly Gertie who claimed she has a 'highly nervous psychological disposition'. The author also tells, disarmingly, of the hardships of the journey by launch and canoes up the rivers of South America, of his travel by horseback through the parched, inhospitable Chac of Paraguay, sometimes swamp and sometimes desert, and of a hazardous voyage by prau under the captaincy of a gun-smuggler.

At all times the author shows his acute powers of observation, his irrepressible sense of the ridiculous, and his gift as a brilliant raconteur. No one has written more entertaining travel books, and this collected edition, superbly illustrated by photographs, will be hugely enjoyed for its evocative descriptions of animals, people and places.



Book One: Zoo Quest to Guyana
1. To Guyana
2. Tiny McTurk and Cannibal Fish
3. The Painted Cliff
4. Sloths and Snakes
5. Spirits in the Night
6. Shanties on the Mazaruni
7. Vampires and Gertie
8. Mistah King and the Mermaid
9. Return

Book Two: Zoo Quest for a Dragon
1. To Indonesia
2. The Faithful Jeep
3. Bali
4. The Animals of Bali
5. Volcanoes and Pickpockets
6. Arrival in Borneo
7. Charlie, the Orang-utan
6. A Perilous Voyage
7. The Island of Kimono
10. The Dragons
11. Postscript

Book Three: Zoo Quest in Paraguay
1. To Paraguay
2. The Decline of a Luxury Cruise
3. Butterflies and Birds
4. Nests on the Camp
5. Beasts in the Bathroom
6. Chasing a Giant
7. Ranch in the Chaco
8. Chaco Journey
9. A Second Search
10. Moving a Menagerie

About the Author

Sir David Attenborough is known to millions as the face and voice of natural history programming at the BBC. He has been interested in natural history for as long as he can remember. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge, and after doing his national service in the Royal Navy and a brief spell in educational publishing, he joined BBC television in 1952. In his varied career he has been Controller of BBC2 and Director of Programming, as well as one of the Corporation's most popular programme-makers. He is perhaps best known for the monumental series Life on Earth.

Reviews and Comments

"... as skilful a writer as broadcaster ..."
The Times

"... the same irresistible charm that distinguished his TV series"
Yorkshire Post

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