Gerald Durrell was born on January 7, 1925 in Jamshedpur, India to British parents. After the death of his father in 1928, the family lived in England and Europe before settling in Corfu, where he spent much of his childhood. Educated by private tutors, he became interested in natural history and amassed a private collection of dozens of creatures from scorpions to owls. He went on numerous wildlife expeditions and founded the Jersey Zoological Park and the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust with the purpose of breeding endangered species. His first book, The Overloaded Ark, was published in 1953. He wrote 37 books during his lifetime including My Family and Other Animals, The Bafut Beagles, A Zoo in My Luggage, Rosy Is My Relative, and The Mockery Bird. He received the Order of the British Empire in 1982 and was featured in the United Nations' Roll of Honor for Environmental Achievement in 1988. He died from complications related to a liver transplant on January 30, 1995 at the age of 70.