I was listening to WGBH today and happened upon an interview with Alan Rabinowitz. Rabinowitz is a wildlife biologist who has made it his mission to create sanctuaries for jaguars, tigers and other endangered animals. In the interview Rabinowitz talked about being unable, as a child, to talk to humans without a severe stutter. Animals, though were a different story. He’d talk quite fluently to real and imaginary animals. He attributed his interest in wildlife conservation to a chance conversation with a jaguar in the Bronx Zoo. Rabinowitz has since gained world renown for his extraordinary efforts on behalf of the big cats and for working in some of the world’s most dangerous places. I read his first book, Jaguar: Struggle and Triumph in the Jungles of Belize, and was impressed (along with most other reviewers) with the author’s ability and willingness to weave together his personal story, the nitty gritty of the fieldwork and the larger environmental issues. His next books, Chasing the Dragon’s Tail and Beyond the Last Village, have been similarly well-received.Worth reading for the adventure alone!
[I went to junior high school with Alan, but honestly, I have not seen or spoken with him since, and my decades-old relationship has NOT influenced this review. Besides, since he clobbered me the only time I have ever put on boxing gloves, I might not be disposed toward unwarranted enthusiasm anyway…]