Book Review: The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures
by William DeBuys
Little, Brown and Company

It starts right in the middle of the “action” DeBuys is on a boat in the middle of the Nakai Reservoir, the lake formed by the construction of the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project (NT2) in central Laos. The project is the largest hydroelectric power plant in the country, producing so much electricity that there’s a surplus available for export to Thailand. The reservoir is so new that trees in the flooded area are still standing, an eerie reminder of what was there.

The reservoir itself borders the Nakai–Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area. A percentage of revenue from the dam is supposed to be directed to conservation efforts there. And that area is where DeBuys is headed – to track down the elusive saola.

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