Last Chance to See: In the Footsteps of Douglas Adams
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
EPUB eISBN: 9780007525843
Original publication: 2009
Electronic publication: 2014
Authored & photographed by: Mark Carwadine
Foreward by: Stephen Fry
Join zoologist Mark Carwardine and Britain's best-loved wit and raconteur, Stephen Fry, as they follow in their great friend Douglas Adams' footsteps, in search of some of the rarest and most threatened animals on Earth. Twenty years ago, zoologist Mark Carwardine teamed up with the late Douglas Adams (author of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and together they embarked on a groundbreaking expedition, travelling the globe in search of some of the world's most endangered animals. Now Mark has teamed up with one of Douglas's closest friends – comic genius Stephen Fry – to see how all those animals have been faring in the years since. In Last Chance to See, and the accompanying major BBC television series, we follow the unlikely duo on six separate journeys which take them from the steamy jungles of the Amazon to the ice-covered mountain tops of New Zealand and from the edge of a war zone in Central Africa to a sub-tropical paradise in the North Pacific. Along the way, they search for some of the weirdest, most remarkable and most troubled creatures on earth: a large, black, sleepy animal easily mistaken for an unusually listless mudbank, a parrot with a song like an unreleased collection of Pink Floyd studio outtakes, a rhino with square lips, a dragon with deadly saliva, an animal roughly the length of a Boeing 737 and the creature most likely to emerge from the cargo doors of a spaceship.A unique insight into the disappearing world around us, this is their hilarious, entertaining, informative and thought-provoking story.
About the Author
Mark Carwardine is a zoologist, writer, photographer, consultant and broadcaster with a special interest in marine wildlife. He has written more than 40 books, including several bestsellers, and presents a wide variety of natural history programmes on BBC Radio 4. A keen diver for many years, he leads shark and whale-watching holidays to many parts of the world and is an ardent supporter of several wildlife conservation organisations. Comic genius and Renaissance man, Stephen Fry is writer, actor, comedian, broadcaster, director and librettist. He was voted among the all time top 50 comedians by fellow comedians and ranked 6th in the BBC's Top Living Icon awards.
conservationists trying to prevent the commercial destruction of the rainforest by charcoal-makers, who chop down the park’s trees. But if the gorillas are hugely vulnerable, so are the rangers trying to protect them. They are exposed to just as many dangers, if not more, as they try to continue their work no matter how much rebel activity there is in the region. Several hundred gorilla rangers have been killed in the line of duty in recent years. Soon after the Rugendo executions, many of the
occasionally had lions, and a leopard sometimes sunbathed on the garage roof. I used to go on a mini game drive every evening after work and frequently saw black rhinos. They were often standing in front of the famous Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the most iconic building on the Nairobi skyline just 6 or 7 kilometres (4 miles) away. Nairobi National Park has been one of the most successful rhino sanctuaries in East Africa. In fact, there were no fewer than 65 in the park when
when they were believed to be pretty much extinct everywhere else in Madagascar. Although no one knew it at the time, aye-ayes still had a few secret hideaways on the mainland and it’s since been discovered that they weren’t quite so rare after all – just very good at hiding. In those days, getting to Nosy Mangabé was quite a palaver. I remember we spent months arranging special government permission and, even when we were within sight of the island, it took hours to find something resembling a
planning to meet up with Ivano Cordeiro, our Fixer, in a few days’ time. We didn’t have a baggage handler or a chef or a masseuse, but with the BBC determined to cut costs we thought we’d try and muddle through. Manaus is the biggest city in the world’s biggest forest. While much of the Amazon Basin remains unexplored, this particular part of it has been very heavily explored indeed – not least by coach-loads of tourists. It’s the launch pad for a motley collection of half-day, full-day,
problem so that the eggs or chicks can be whisked away to the relative safety of an artificial incubator next to the bunkhouse. What we were witnessing was the ultimate in eleventh-hour micro-conservation. The kakapo is so endangered, so close to the edge, that caring for its population as a whole, in the traditional sense, is no longer an option. The only real hope for the last few survivors is round-the-clock individual care and attention. Whatever happens, the female kakapo are remarkably