A Gorilla in the Guest Room : By Gerald Durrell -N’Pongo’s first real illness


A Gorilla in the Guest Room

Question : The author of the story, ‘A Gorilla in the Guest Room’ was “in a constant state of anxiety over their health and well-being”. What measures did he adopt to regulate their health ?  How did he attend to N’Pongo’s “first real illness” ?

Answer: Having such an endangered species like Gorilla, made Gerald Durrell quite anxious about their health and well -being.

He says- 
“To have acquired such a pair of rare and valuable animals was, I considered something of an achievement, but how, I discovered,we were to live in a constant state of anxiety over their health and well being.”   

      Every time if one of them got the sawdust up in his nose and sneezed, Gerald would think of it as a prelude to pneumonia or something else.

        He was often concerned about the  proper functioning of their bowl.

     At that time, he somehow managed to installed a magnificent communication apparatus in the zoo. To be able to monitor the animals’ health and well-being, he got the small black boxes screwed to the walls in the zoo, through which the staff could speak with main office and vice versa. One of these boxes were installed in Gerald’s flat to apprise him of what was going on in the zoo.

  Then Gerald encountered with N’Pongo’s “first real illness ” at a time when had just arranged to spend three weeks in the south of France for work.

Just four days before his leaving to France, N’Pongo looked pale, he lay on the floor, his arms wrapped around himself, staring into space. The only symptom was acute diarrhoea.

     Gerald consulted several vets and physicians to give him the best medical aid but N’Pongo’s health was deteriorating every day. Later on,it was found that he was suffering from a form of colitis.

     N’Pongo lost weight and stopped eating altogether. He was not even drinking milk so no antibiotics could be administered. Later his diarrhoea was quite heavily tinged with blood” and this made Gerald and his team lose hope.

Gerald with his wife Jacqie, went to buy food that would arouse N’Pongo’s interest in food. They bought a bright green watermelon. As soon as N’Pongo was given a slice of it , he displayed signs of interests. He took the slice and started to eat. This was used to distract him and inject him with antibiotics.

Gerald was now in dilemma; in next twenty four hours he had to leave for France, but he did not wish to leave N’Pongo unless his health improved.

Luckily ,when Gerald had to leave, N’Pongo started drinking complan. His eyes reflected that sparkle again that had been lacking for past few days. Gerald thus  “drove down to airport and caught the plane to Dinard.”

      By the time he returned, he was happy to find that N’Pongo had regained all the weight he had lost and was in his old healthy state.

See more click here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top