Fifty years ago a young man called David Attenborough went to visit Madagascar on a field trip with the BBC to record something about the flaura and fauna of this magnificent island off the coast of Africa. The island continent contains a diveristy of living things seen nowehere else on the planet. Roughly 80% of life on this island is only found in Madagascar. I was born in Madagascar some two years earlier and my father who was a keen ornithologist hoped to meet David but through various accidents did not get to do so. One part of the trip resulted in him piecing together fragments of the egg of the now extinct Elephant Bird. The bird layed the largest egg known to science. Of course it is possible to piece back together the egg but not the bird. This egg is a tribute to Sir David Attenborough who has throughout his life allowed me to travel vicariously to places I will never see, but in his capable hands, feel I have been. Of course there is one exception and that is Madagascar. Although I left Madagascar when I was seven years old the island has never left me. I don’t think it has left David Attenborough either. I would love sometimes to piece things back together and make sense of it all but it remains an illusion, we can never really piece things back together.
This egg will go on display as part of the giant egg festival to be held this easter in Dübendorf, Switzerland.