Thirteen Gold Monkeys

Thirteen Gold Monkeys

by Benjamin Beck


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A story of hope, love, and unspeakable death in a disappearing Brazilian rainforest. A team of dogged conservationists tries to save a beautiful monkey species, the golden lion tamarin, from certain extinction by reinforcing their numbers with tamarins born in zoos. Will these immigrants learn to find enough to eat, find secure places to sleep, avoid predators, and survive attacks by wild tamarins? Will they find mates and make babies? The technique, known as reintroduction, is new, and the conservationists struggle to find the best method. Can they train the tamarins in zoos to meet the challenges of the wild? Once the monkeys are released in the forest, should the people give them food, shoo away predators, rescue them if they get lost, and treat them if they are injured? Or should they be hands-off, letting the monkeys fend for themselves and become wild as quickly as possible? Beck describes the reintroduction of the first 13 tamarins, capturing their fierce determination to survive, their loves and conflicts, their nurturant families, adorable babies, hidden language, sometimes hilarious attempts to solve the problems of adapting, and the agonizing deaths of those who don't make it. He describes the power and beauty of the rainforest, and the loves, loyalties, conflicts, and sometimes hilarious bumbling by their human caretakers. Challenging their better-known bosses, two women, a zookeeper and a Brazilian field assistant, discover the right way to reintroduce the monkeys. But a well-known Rio citizen almost destroys the program in a callous act of vanity. The story is vivid and authentic; Beck was there and has studied animal thinking and monkey and ape conservation for more than 40 years.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478709725
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 04/03/2013
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

For more than 40 years, Benjamin Beck has studied the ways that animals
think, and worked to save monkeys and apes in the wild. He lives on the
eastern shore of Maryland with his wife and colleague, Beate Rettberg-Beck,
and their dog Heidi.

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Thirteen Gold Monkeys 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply terrific!  A riveting story, beautifully told. The author compellingly shares the triumphs and challenges that a team of scientists, zookeepers and field assistants experience as they discover the best way to re-introduce zoo-born Golden Lion Tamarins into the  coastal rain forests of Brazil. For all readers, from teenagers to adults, this is page turning adventure that shows us how science works in the real world.  Conservation of endangered species is a complex endeavor, including the impacts of poverty and politics, along with habitat fragmentation and climate change. This is a book for everyone who cares about about our relationship with the natural world.