Colchester Zoo is today one of the finest zoos in Britain.
Yet, unlike almost every other major zoo in the country, Colchester Zoo has never had its story told - until now.
The forgotten figures of Frank and Helena Farrar are here brought to life once again in these pages which show how they founded firstly Southport Zoo in the 1950s and then Colchester Zoo in the 1960s.
Told here is the story of how Frank and Helena's domestic life with their lions and monkeys prompted them to embark on a series of adventures which took them all over the world.
Also told is the story of how Colchester Zoo declined in the 1970s and how the Tropeano family turned it into the internationally respected breeding centre for endangered animals that it is today.
This is a tale of struggle and heartbreak but also of transformation and redemption, and is a fitting tribute to one of our great animal institutions as it reaches its fiftieth anniversary.