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Gold Rush in the Jungle    by Dan Drollette, Jr Amazon.com order for
Gold Rush in the Jungle
by Jr, Dan Drollette
Order:  USA  Can
Crown, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Large mammals never seen before by Western scientists have been seen in the jungle where Vietnam's borders meet those of Laos and Cambodia. Try to picture a half goat/half ox? Or a deer that barks! And a relative of the Javan rhino, which, by the way, is almost extinct.

Gold Rush in the Jungle: The Race to Discover and Defend the Rarest Animals of Vietnam's "Lost World" is an astonishing and fascinating book in that describes the race to discover and save these new animals before they become extinct. Poachers are prolific and greatly hamper what scientists are trying to do. The act of poaching is unfortunately understandable. The people living in close proximity can make a decent living by selling these creatures to collectors of the exotic as well as to restaurants that make their living cooking and selling that which is otherwise unobtainable. Parts of various animals are also sold for medicinal purposes.

Using 'Research gathered by famous biologists, conservationists, indigenous peoples, former POWs, ex-Viet-Cong and the first U.S. ambassador to Vietnam since the war's end', this book 'goes deep into the valleys, hills, and hollows of Vietnam to explore the research, the international trade in endangered species, the lingering effect of Agent Orange, and the effort of a handful of biologists to save the world's rarest animals.'

The above quote from the cover of this extraordinary work says it better than I can. I can tell you, though, that it is a book that will keep you enthralled from beginning to end. I have to admit, I was unsure about reading it. I thought Ho hum. Boring! Couldn't be farther from the truth. Author Dan Drollett Jr. has put his heart and soul into this and I, for one, am touched by his concern for the possibility of losing even one rare or never before seen animal, plant or insect. Wouldn't you love to see a frog flying from tree to tree? I would. Excellent book.

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