Chasing the Dragon's Tail: The Struggle to Save Thailand's Wild Cats

Chasing the Dragon's Tail: The Struggle to Save Thailand's Wild Cats

by Alan Rabinowitz
     
 

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An explorer, zoologist, conservationist, and writer describes the enthralling activities and many personal challenges involved in his work tracking and studying leopards, tigers, and other wild animals in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand. Includes a new afterword by the author bringing the account up to date. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland,… See more details below

Overview

An explorer, zoologist, conservationist, and writer describes the enthralling activities and many personal challenges involved in his work tracking and studying leopards, tigers, and other wild animals in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand. Includes a new afterword by the author bringing the account up to date. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1987 the author, a research zoologist with Wildlife Conservation International, was invited by the Thai government to study endangered animals in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary. For two years he tracked leopards, tigers and other big cats in the 1000-square-mile area, capturing and collaring them in order to monitor their movements by radio. Rabinowitz seems to crave risk and adventure, and the story of his hazardous years ``chasing the dragon's tail'' in the Thai forest--which includes encounters with angry poachers, a narrow escape from his own leopard trap, the aftermath of his participation in an opium council--makes engrossing reading. He also reveals much about Thai life and its contradictions, especially the Buddhist philosophy that reveres wild animals and at the same time justifies killing them. His assessment of the prospects for saving the Thai forest and its wildlife is disheartening. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Rabinowitz is a field biologist and the author of Jaguar ( LJ 12/86), an account of his effort to set up a jaguar preserve in Belize. In 1987, he agreed to survey the wild cats in Thailand's Huai Kha Haeng valley. During his study of leopards, leopard cats, and civets, he befriended monks, forest workers, and other Thais in an effort to understand why practicing Buddhists frequently abused animals and ransacked the forest. He found that Western attitudes about the beauty and value of wildlife ultimately clash with a pragmatic view of nature as commodity in countries where poverty and human suffering is widespread. Walking away with a bleak view of the future for Thailand's forests, Rabinowitz records here the beauty of another natural paradise that may soon be lost. Recommended for general collections in public and academic libraries.-- Beth Clewis, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, Va.
Booknews
The remarkable story of zoologist Rabinowitz's life and adventures in the Huai Kha Khaeng valley--one of southeast Asia's largest and most prized forests--as well as the streets of Bangkok, as he works to protect the threatened wildlife of Thailand. With 12 pages of b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Far Eastern Economic Review

"...one of the best recent books on Thailand. Although essentially the record of a zoologist conserving wild cats in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, the book also offers a penetrating account of author Alan Rabinowitz's struggle to come to terms with Thailand and the Thai people."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385415187
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/20/1992
Edition description:
1st Anchor Books ed
Pages:
256

Meet the Author

Alan Rabinowitz is Director of the Science and Exploration Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society based in the Bronx, New York. He is a frequent contributor to Natural History and is the author of two previous books: Jaguar (Island Press, 2000) and Beyond the Last Village (Island Press, 2001).

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