strange behaviors

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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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Gone Before Beginning

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 11, 2011

This is a sad addition to the Wall of the Dead, not least because it was such a needless death.  This account comes from the Purdue University student newspaper for June 8:

A 21-year-old Purdue student, who had a life-long passion for reptiles, died on Friday while on a volunteer trip to the Cayman Islands with the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.Daniel Hamilton, senior in the College of Agriculture, died from hyperthermia, or heat stroke. He was found in the thick bush in Grand Cayman where he was taken by paramedics to a hospital but later died. He was from Hebron, Ind.

The resonating message from family and friends close to Hamilton was that his passion has always been reptiles and wildlife …

Field work can be dangerous.   But dying of heat stroke on a Caribbean resort island is absurd.  People who organize these expeditions need to protect their volunteers better from such obvious hazards.

One Response to “Gone Before Beginning”

  1. Jamesen Miller said

    Wow. I agree, it is horribly absurd. Any follow up?

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