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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Search for the Golden Moon Bear: Science and Adventure in Pursuit of a New Species » User review

A great book on bears and zoology in Southeast Asia

  • Jan 21, 2006
I would say half of this book is on bears, half on journeys throughout Southeast Asia. This suited me find since I love both topics. Montgomery deals with both well, and explains both the wildlife trade and scientific concepts in clear language. I also like how she does not reveal the conclusion of the search until the end, allowing for a suspensful read. I have to admit, I have read many books about environmental issues in Southeast Asia, but was surprised by a lot in this book (including the extent of keeping bears in hotels in Phnom Penh). A great story of discovery in Southeast Asia.

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About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #77
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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Though this eye-opening book starts out as a chronicle of a scientist's search for the elusive golden moon bears of Southeast Asia, it quickly turns into a spiritual, cultural and ecological study of two Third World nations ravaged by war and greed. Laos has the distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in the world, and Cambodia the most heavily mined (one in 236 Cambodians is an amputee, the author notes), but that doesn't keep Boston Globe journalist Montgomery (Journey of the Pink Dolphins) from accompanying Gary J. Galbreath, professor of evolutionary biology at Northwestern University, as they embark on an expedition to determine whether the golden moon bear is a new species or just a rare "color phase." While traveling from site to site searching for bears and plucking out their hairs (to use in DNA analysis), the two encounter a number of perils including monstrous leeches, inch-long ants and machine-gun-armed bandits as well as a handful of extraordinary people who are trying to preserve what is left of Asia's wildlife and forests. Sadly, all of the bears Montgomery and Galbreath find are either in sanctuaries, caged in zoos, or held in restaurants, destined for the chopping block. Montgomery vividly recounts her sometimes humorous, sometimes horrifying experiences with a reporter's keen eye, a conservationist's outrage and a poet's lyricism ("...the precise triangulated leaves of bamboo, the graceful tracery of ...
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ISBN-10: 0743205847
ISBN-13: 978-0743205849
Author: Sy Montgomery
Genre: Science & Nature
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: August 25, 2009
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