Get My Backyard Jungle: The Adventures of an Urban Wildlife PDF

By James Barilla

For James Barilla and his relatives, the dream of reworking their Columbia, South Carolina, yard right into a haven for flora and fauna evoked pictures of youngsters catching grasshoppers by way of day and fireflies at evening, of digging up potatoes and opting for strawberries. after they signed up with the nationwide flora and fauna Federation to certify their backyard as a natural world habitat, it felt like pushing again, in notwithstanding small a fashion, opposed to the tide of undesirable information approximately vanishing species, altering weather, death coral reefs. Then the animals began to arrive, and Barilla quickly stumbled on the complexities (and attainable mayhem) of merging human with animal habitats. What are the boundaries of coexistence, he wondered?
To discover, Barilla set out throughout continents to discover towns the place populations of bears, monkeys, marmosets, and honeybees dwell along human citizens. My yard Jungle brings those specific tales jointly, making Barilla’s backyard the center piece of a meditation on chances for coexistence with animals in an more and more city global. now not due to the fact that Gerald Durrell penned My kin and different Animals have readers encountered a naturalist with one of these present for storytelling and such an open middle towards all issues wild.

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Additional info for My Backyard Jungle: The Adventures of an Urban Wildlife Lover Who Turned His Yard into Habitat and Learned to Live with It

Example text

First and foremost, I have to confess that I’m afraid. To feed an animal, you have to make yourself vulnerable. You have to trust that the thing isn’t going to sink its fangs into your hand, and the animal has to trust you, too, trust that you aren’t going to pounce and haul it away in a cage. Clearly, the monkeys don’t entirely trust me, and I don’t entirely trust them. We’re right on the edge of interspecies contact. Even though I’ve seen them take fruit from Sean and his daughter without incident, I’ve been reading recently about rhesus macaques on Puerto Rico that have es­ tablished wild populations after escaping from a medical research facility.

A year later, Denis and Roosevelt embarked on a trek by automobile from Spain down the length of the African continent, searching out exotica along the way. 7 At the height of World War II, the couple began amassing a collection of African primates, gathering what now seems like a stunning trove of rare wildlife for shipment across the Atlantic. An account of this enterprise in a 1946 spread in the Sunday edition of the Miami Daily News suggests that their first attempted shipment included fifty gorillas, all of which died of an epidemic while they waited on shore for a ship to navigate the wartorn seas.

I notice that several scruffy tomcats are preening at the edge of the lot. And then I see a woman coming along the line of brush. Her face is hidden by a sweatshirt hood, and she’s encased in several layers of jackets and sweaters that make her arms stick out, like stubby penguin wings. I can tell that she’s watching me furtively, hoping I won’t be able to figure out what she’s doing. As if I don’t already know. I pretend not to be interested and walk across the lot to the beach. She gets back to work, half a dozen cats gathered around her shins.

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