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Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions

David Attenborough

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Adventures of a Young Naturalist is a collection of stories from renowned presenter David Attenborough's journeys into South America and Indonesia as a young television producer for the BBC.


Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions

Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions

by David Attenborough


Many of us only know David Attenborough by his voice – the smooth, charming tone that has narrated scores of nature documentaries for decades. But in the early 1950s, the legendary host was just a trainee producer with the BBC in London, appearing live on camera.

Armed with an unused zoology degree, Attenborough knew he wanted to make animal programs, so he convinced the BBC to sponsor him and a small crew on an expedition to capture animals for the London Zoo's collection – and film it all. In the decades since, the award-winning producer, writer, director, and host has ignited curiosity about the natural world in audiences around the globe.

Part travel memoir and part ethnography, Adventures of a Young Naturalist weaves tales of mid-20th century approaches to conservation and animal capture with rich descriptions of cultural interchange with indigenous peoples.

Favorite quote

The organization of an enterprise, eventually to be dignified by the title of expedition, should by rights imply many months of detailed planning... But we had made no such preparations for our trip to Indonesia... I confess I rather wish we had.

- David Attenborough

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