Archive | April 2013

Message from Ben Beck re his new book Thirteen Gold Monkeys. A GREAT read!

Dear colleagues, friends and family,


I have just completed a novel, titled Thirteen Gold Monkeys.  I know it’s presumptuous but, as Wayne Gretzky said: “You never make a shot you don’t take.” It’s a story of the early days of the reintroduction of zoo-born golden lion tamarin monkeys to the coastal rainforest of Brazil. We reintroduced these monkeys to help save the species in the wild. Colleagues have been asking me to write a detailed account of this landmark program, but I didn’t want to write a dry scientific story that would be of interest to only a few other reintroduction scientists and historians. I thought the lessons of aspiration; failure and success; adaptive management and innovation; conflict and cooperation; human strengths and frailties; evil, love, and loyalty; the power and beauty of a rainforest; and the drive of these remarkable monkeys to survive were too powerful to be buried in a droll scientific account. The story reveals for the first time that the fierce passions of a zookeeper and a Brazilian field assistant for the health and wellbeing of each monkey were the key to making the reintroduction successful. Also revealed for the first time is the despicable poaching of reintroduced tamarins at the hand of a well-known Rio citizen, a crime that killed one monkey and almost destroyed the conservation program.


Thirteen Gold Monkeys is available from Amazon (including a Kindle edition), Barnes and Noble (including a Nook edition), and It should be orderable from any bookseller. There will soon be an iTunes version for iPhone/iPad. Half of any profits from the sale of the book will be donated to the Devra G. Kleiman endowment for the support of ongoing conservation efforts with golden lion tamarins (see 


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