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From cat breeder to Cobol to Perl

In my youth, I read the books written by Gerald Durrell ... starting off with the stories of his childhood on Corfu in "My family and other animals" where I learnt of his maveric background with unusual pets of all shapes and sizes. Followed him through animal collection trips to Africa and South America, trips to New Zealand and Australia on a more fact-finding mission and his own zoo on Jersey where he specialised in breeding rare animals and other conservation work.

So I was especially interested to find that one of my course delegates this week spent 8 years on the staff of a local zoo, looked after the smaller cats, and was very much into the breeding / conservation. Some very interesting tales over lunch; "I don't talk about it too much - I get carried away and bore people" to quote ... but no way was I bored, and I relished the enthusiasm. To hear that the "secret" to breeding one type of cat is to give them a steady 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark every day to be like their native equator, and that another cat (the jaguarundi) is a social cat ... and how a clue in an obscure Victorian book about a trip to South America "I knocked a bush with my stick and a whole swarm of Jaguarundi ran out" lead him to put the zoo's whole stock into a single cage as it was a lightbulb moment that they're a social cat, and lead to a previously unseen breeding success.

Add the story of Nobby the Elephant, of visits to the Aspinall Zoo in Kent, and of Siberian tigers and there's a book in these stories, I'm sure ... now I wonder if I can persuade him.

Illustration - delegates on a course at Well House Manor. We get some remarkable people through our training centre, though we don't always knoe it!

(written 2006-06-21, updated 2010-06-19)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z203 - Cat and Dog
  [4666] Spring at Well House Manor - (2016-03-27)
  [4526] Day trip to Lancaster - (2015-10-10)
  [4517] Black dog day - and Bobby still seeks his new home - (2015-09-26)
  [4507] In favour of adoption rather than puppy purchase - dogs! - (2015-06-07)
  [4433] Different views of a Welsh Valley - but headed home - (2015-02-20)
  [4417] Crisp morning, fast run - (2015-02-06)
  [4333] Misty Melksham Morning - (2014-11-30)
  [4316] Too many Staffies, too many lurchers - (2014-11-16)
  [4189] Who are we - Lisa, Graham, Gypsy and Billy - (2013-10-07)
  [4180] Exceptionally, I sign a petition - on a life and death issue for Irish dogs - (2013-09-20)
  [4130] Soft furnishings up a Welsh Mountain - (2013-07-03)
  [4016] Red, yellow, green or pink dog? Yellow Dog Project - (2013-02-23)
  [3943] With us for a year already! - (2012-12-03)
  [3936] Lisa is home today ... - (2012-11-26)
  [3920] Challenge for a photographer - (2012-11-10)
  [3908] Black dogs at Halloween - (2012-10-31)
  [3906] Taking the lead, not the dog, for a walk. - (2012-10-28)
  [3737] Postcards from Barmouth - (2012-05-20)
  [3675] Spring 2012 - (2012-03-30)
  [3674] Off to walk the dogs - (2012-03-30)
  [3625] An update on Billy the Greyhound and Gypsy the Lurcher - (2012-02-25)
  [3606] Gypsy and Billy enjoy the snow - (2012-02-10)
  [3561] Happy Christmas ... a Christmas morning walk in Melksham - (2011-12-25)
  [3553] Changes to morning routines - (2011-12-16)
  [3541] I loves Melksham - (2011-12-06)
  [3537] Letting the foster parents know ... too little or too much? - (2011-12-04)
  [3533] No message - just doggy pictures of the new doggy - (2011-11-30)
  [3530] A typical weekend?? - (2011-11-28)
  [3338] Return trip - Dogs Trust, Newbury - (2011-06-27)
  [3324] Rabbit Shelter - (2011-06-12)
  [3096] Contrast in pictures - (2010-12-20)
  [2897] The Land of the Black Labrador - (2010-08-01)
  [2787] Sleeping in on Sunday - (2010-05-30)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2555] Bookkeeping - (2009-12-29)
  [2499] ourdog is Greyhound, Staffie and Ginger Cake - (2009-11-09)
  [2496] A better design of mouth - (2009-11-07)
  [2456] Bright Eyes - (2009-10-16)
  [2451] Gypsy says - (2009-10-12)
  [2450] Family Gathering at 404, The Spa - (2009-10-11)
  [2295] The dog is not in trouble - (2009-07-17)
  [2271] Dogs Trust, Dog Show, Newbury - (2009-07-06)
  [2252] Leaping dog, Leaping horse, copyright of old masters - (2009-06-20)
  [2167] Watching the tele - (2009-05-10)
  [2140] Beware - giving copyright away when you upload a picture - Dogs Trust - (2009-04-25)
  [2138] Ski bore ... train bore ... dog bore - (2009-04-24)
  [2132] Learning about Lurchers - (2009-04-18)
  [2029] Also for the eyes of the cat - (2009-02-07)
  [744] We can offer a room, but we can't operate on a dog - (2006-06-05)
  [547] Taking the dog for a walk - (2005-12-29)
  [96] Variable Scope - (2004-10-22)
  [62] Technical Open House - (2004-09-25)

Z700 - People
  [4736] Our changing world - (2017-04-17)
  [4728] Visiting Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club - (2016-11-23)
  [4646] Sometimes you wonder about people. And perhaps you should not. - (2016-02-13)
  [4482] People in New York - (2015-05-02)
  [4349] When I am old, what will worry me? - (2014-12-11)
  [4193] Using our non-found page to help look for missing persons - (2013-10-18)
  [3981] Melksham - a town of some remarkable people - (2013-01-19)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [3775] Alan Turing - 1912 to 1954 - (2012-06-23)
  [3512] A colleague and friend who changed my life - (2011-11-07)
  [3466] Passing of Steve Jobs - R.I.P. - (2011-10-06)
  [3355] Family Pictures - (2011-07-12)
  [3298] Quiet Monday in - (2011-05-23)
  [3297] A long day, a long journey, and families and similarities the world over - (2011-05-22)
  [3268] Baby Pictures - (2011-04-27)
  [3184] Visiting relatives - (2011-02-26)
  [3125] The family is defunct. Long live the family. - (2011-01-09)
  [3055] Zyliana Kyrei Cox - (2010-11-16)
  [3034] Birth Notice - Aeryn Cassandra Ellis - (2010-11-07)
  [3008] Dulwich College Preparatory, and Sevenoaks, Schools - (2010-10-21)
  [2886] Congratulations, Kimberly - (2010-07-25)
  [2846] Catching up with an old friend - (2010-07-01)
  [2795] Simon says - (2010-06-05)
  [2503] Melksham manslaughter case concludes - sort of - (2009-11-14)
  [2100] Visiting Family - (2009-03-23)
  [2078] A lot has changed - but the memory lingers on - (2009-03-12)
  [1988] Melksham, Wiltshire. Town Crier Competition, 2009 - (2009-01-11)
  [1980] Michelle - (2009-01-06)
  [1916] Why I remember East Grafton - (2008-12-02)
  [1627] Amazing family members - (2008-05-02)
  [1570] London Midland ... Merrymaker ... Percy Danks - (2008-03-10)
  [1522] Paging Martin Noke, who petitions for more trains from Trowbridge to Swindon - (2008-01-28)
  [1385] Delegates of all shapes and sizes - (2007-10-09)
  [1303] Heading Upstate New York - (2007-08-14)
  [1279] The Gdansk fireball - (2007-07-27)
  [1238] The kind spirit of Melksham - (2007-06-21)
  [1197] Back off home with our best wishes - (2007-05-21)
  [1151] Gordon Dodge, R.I.P. - (2007-04-16)
  [1119] The Last Word on the road - (2007-03-26)
  [1107] Weekend Visitors - (2007-03-13)
  [1065] Graham Ellis - an Introduction - (2007-02-05)
  [1064] Light and shadows at Beach - (2007-02-04)
  [820] Robert and William Whitworth - (2006-08-01)
  [794] Perl delegate - much more than just a delegate - (2006-07-06)
  [763] Much more that the world cup - (2006-06-15)
  [704] Erin Brent - rest in peace - (2006-04-29)
  [650] A person of few words - (2006-03-18)
  [611] Look out for the motor cyclist - (2006-02-17)
  [601] A fond memory of Sir Freddie - (2006-02-11)
  [584] Loosing breath with Gerald - (2006-01-31)
  [543] The world didn't stop for Christmas - (2005-12-26)
  [530] Perl course during the week, getting married at the weekend - (2005-12-16)
  [423] A Victorian Lady - (2005-08-23)
  [392] No Smoking - (2005-07-27)
  [388] BBQ Season - (2005-07-24)
  [207] Canteen Dragon - (2005-02-09)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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