Synopses & Reviews
An engrossing, adventure-filled account of the rush to discover and save Vietnam's most extraordinary animals
Deep in the jungle where the borders of Vietnam meet those of Laos and Cambodia is a region known as "the lost world." Large mammals never seen before by Western science have popped up frequently in these mountains in the last decade, including a half-goat/half-ox, a deer that barks, and a close relative of the nearly extinct Javan rhino. In an age when scientists are excited by discovering a new kind of tube worm, the thought of finding and naming a new large terrestrial mammal is astonishing, and wildlife biologists from all over the world are flocking to this dangerous region. The result is a race between preservation and destruction.
Containing research gathered from famous biologists, conservationists, indigenous peoples, former POWs, ex-Viet Cong, and the first U.S. ambassador to Vietnam since the war's end, Gold Rush in the Jungle goes deep into the valleys, hills, and hollows of Vietnam to explore the research, the international trade in endangered species, the lingering effects of Agent Orange, and the effort of a handful of biologists to save the world's rarest animals.
"In 1937 at the Paris Zoo, a 'fabled wild forest ox' emerged from the tumult of an Indochinese shipment of common wildlife. The accidental passenger turned out to be the only Kouprey ever recorded in captivity, and it later disappeared amidst the madness of German-occupied France. A near-mythic creature figured in bas relief at Angkor Wat, the Kouprey has been hotly pursued ever since. If recaptured and bred with modern cattle, the result would be a 'supercow' immune to multiple diseases. Its ancient genes could be worth billions. The Kouprey is just one of many fetching creatures that haunt this book and the Southeast Asian region known as the 'Lost World.' Because of the remoteness of the land and the conflicts that have plagued the area over past decades, its exotic inhabitants like a barking deer or a pig-nosed 200-lb soft-shell turtle have largely been overlooked. Modern poachers, however, have made up for lost time, smuggling out tragic caravans of trophy creatures for slaughter. But some brave scientists are dedicated to protecting them, and veteran science journalist Drollette ably details both the poetic and practical reasons to defend such lost worlds and their bizarre residents. Agent: Matthew Carnicelli, Carnicelli Literary Management." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
DAN DROLLETTE is a writer, editor, and lecturer whose articles have appeared in such publications as Scientific American, International Wildlife, the Boston Globe, Natural History, Cosmos, Science, ABCNewsOnline, New Scientist, Newsday, and The Sciences. Recently, he earned awards from the National Association of Science Writers, the Society of Environmental Journalists, and the "East Meets West" journalism conference at UC Berkeley.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Dawn in the Jungle
Chapter 1: A Peace More Dangerous Than War
Part One: 1998
Chapter 2: An American in Vietnam
Chapter 3: A Room at the “Hanoi Hilton”
Chapter 4: Roughing It in Rural Vietnam
Part Two: 2010 and Beyond
Chapter 5: A Grand Tour of the EPRC
Chapter 6: Vietnam’s “Lost World”
Chapter 7: At the Hands of the Demon Called “Science"
Chapter 8: A Biological Gold Rush in the Jungle
Chapter 9: The Kouprey—A Cautionary Tale
Chapter 10: Cobras Under the Kitchen Sink
Chapter 11: Surviving “The American War”—Agent Orange
Chapter 12: DMZ: The Thin Green Line
Chapter 13: Dragons Flying in Clouds 000
Chapter 14: Of Turtles and Second Chances
Chapter 15: Why the Rhino Went Extinct in Vietnam
Chapter 16: Vietnam’s Yeti: What Else Is Out There?
Chapter 17: Two Futures: Angkor Wat or Kauai?
Chapter 18: The Big Picture
Notes on Sources
Glossary: Who’s Who Among the Animals