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Posted August 13, 2010
Last Chance to See Review
Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine takes you on an adventure through some of the most interesting endangered species on Earth. Mark is a zoologist and Douglas is a noteworthy author. The two were sent to Madagascar to look for the basically extinct aye-aye (a type of nocturnal lemur). After realizing that these lemurs have became extinct due to the actions of people, who are referred to as "monkeys", the pair decides to embark on a journey to learn more about other endangered animals.
The first animal they look for is the Komodo dragon. This lizard is only found in Indonesia in an environment surrounded with poisonous snakes. Douglas makes a comment on how the human species calls certain species evil, like the Komodo dragon, even though the animal knows nothing of sort. Douglas says he believes this makes humans feel better about themselves.
In Zaire, Douglas and Mark go to see the White Rhino and the Mountain Gorilla. At this point in the book I became very uninterested because the author trails off from talking about the animals and begins to talk about the troubles he has in the airport. I chose this book because I wanted to learn more about these animals. Although informational, I did not care to hear about this part of the book when Mark had trouble with his flight.
Next in New Zealand they find the Kakapo, a rare flightless bird. This part of the book also becomes very slow as Mark describes the difficulties of finding the bird. Apparently, getting into the bird sanctuary is very difficult, and you have to go through many steps to get there. This part was not appealing to me. However, the way they had to find the bird was quite interesting. They had to use a tracking dog.
In China, the pair looks for the Yangtze River Dolphin. This part was thought provoking because it really got into describing how people and technology have affected the animals. This is the type of reading I was looking for in this book. The dolphin could not be found in the wild, so Mark and Douglas go to the sanctuary for these dolphins. This was my favorite part of the book because the author really goes into depth about how people have made the dolphins endangered, and how they are trying to save them.
In Mauritius Mark and Doug find more than one animal because this area of the world is filled with many rare animals. They find birds such as the Rodrigues friutbat and the Mauritius Kestrel. All these birds are in a conservatory. The kestrel tries to behave much like a human. I enjoyed this chapter because it focused on more than one animal.
This book is said to be known for its humor, but I don't find the humor in this book. I don't like the dry sense of humor and the analogies are not very amusing. The book becomes very slow when Mark and Doug are not with the animals. I didn't particularly care for the struggles the two find while on their plane rides for their destinations. However, these amazing creatures are described in an impressive way, which makes up for the slower parts of the book.
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Posted March 17, 2012
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