Gerald Durrell dedicated the book to his mother in a typically tongue-in-cheek, yet obviously sincere and affectionate way:
"I should like to pay a special tribute to my mother, to whom this book is dedicated. Like a gentle, enthusiastic, and understanding Noah, she has steered her vessel full of strange progeny through the stormy seas of life with great skill, always faced with the possibility of mutiny, always surrounded by the dangerous shoals of overdraft and extravagance, never being sure that her navigation would be approved by the crew, but certain that she would be blamed for anything that went wrong. That she survived the voyage is a miracle, but survive it she did, and, moreover, with her reason more or less in tact. As my brother Larry rightly points out, we can be proud of the way we have brought her up; she is a credit to us."