Life in the Valley of Death: The Fight to Save Tigers in a by Alan Rabinowitz
By Alan Rabinowitz
Dubbed the Indiana Jones of natural world technological know-how by way of the hot York instances, Alan Rabinowitz has devoted—and risked—his existence to guard nature’s nice endangered mammals. He has journeyed to the distant corners of the earth looking for wild issues, weathering treacherous terrain, aircraft crashes, and antagonistic governments. existence within the Valley of demise recounts his such a lot bold and unsafe event but: the production of the world’s greatest tiger defend. The story is determined within the lush Hukaung Valley of Myanmar, previously referred to as Burma. An break out course for refugees fleeing the japanese military in the course of global conflict II, this rugged stretch of land claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids, ladies, and squaddies. this present day it truly is domestic to at least one of the most important tiger populations open air of India—a inhabitants threatened by way of rampant poaching and the hot encroachment of gold prospectors. To shop the remainder tigers, Rabinowitz needs to navigate not just an unforgiving panorama, however the tangled internet of politics in Myanmar. confronted with an army dictatorship, an rebel military, tribes as soon as notorious for taking the heads in their enemies, and villagers dwelling on under one U.S. buck according to day, the scientist and adventurer so much pleased with animals is thrust right into a diplomatic minefield. As he works to stability the pursuits of disparate factions and endangered natural world, his personal existence is threatened through an incurable sickness. The ensuing tale is considered one of destruction and loss, but in addition renewal. In forests reviled because the valley of loss of life, Rabinowitz reveals new existence for himself, for groups haunted by means of poverty and violence, and for the tigers he vowed to guard.
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Additional info for Life in the Valley of Death: The Fight to Save Tigers in a Land of Guns, Gold, and Greed
As elsewhere, people find their own space or seek the company of those they choose to be around. I am always in a group of the four most senior people. We are given the best corners of the huts, the best places around the fire, the first cups of tea, and the best of the food rations. While none of us cares about such niceties, we accept them as a sign of respect. Our botanist, Saw Lwin, unpacks his tools and plant press and spends a few hours identifying, measuring, and recording the orchids he’s collected that day.
At each stop we present our paperwork and explain the purpose of our trip. Everyone already knows of our coming and why we are here. We just have to go through the motions. The military assigns a new man to accompany us and report on my activities. At the edge of town, the Tanai River, a major tributary of the Chindwinn, marks the end of the drivable road, separating the accessible world from the inaccessible. With nearly a 1,000-foot span between banks, only the twisted metal supports jutting up from the water provide evidence of the bridge that once stood there, built by the Americans during World War II.
But I have also tempered my initial enthusiasm. Now I realize that despite the animals I see or hear evidence of around me, I should be finding much more sign of large mammals than I actually am. Tigers and other species were more abundant here in the past than they are now, many reports are indicating. The most glaring example of this decline is the valley’s wild elephant population. While both the committee’s existence and their imprisonment of elephants are illegal without special government permits, the practice has the tacit approval of military and township officials, who appropriate the animals when needed for work crews.