Gold Rush in the Jungle: The Race to Discover and Defend the Rarest Animals of Vietnam’s “Lost World”

Dan Drollette, Author
Dan Drollette Jr. Crown, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-307-40704-7
Open Ebook - 227 pages - 978-0-307-95587-6
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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. (Apr.)
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