Zoo Nebraska

Zoo Nebraska

The Dismantling of An American Dream

Book - 2019
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Royal, Nebraska, population eighty-one--where the church, high school, and post office each stand abandoned, monuments to a Great Plains town that never flourished. But for nearly twenty years, they had a zoo, seven acres that rose from local peculiarity to key tourist attraction to devastating tragedy. And it all began with one man's outsize vision. When Dick Haskin's plans to assist primatologist Dian Fossey in Rwanda were cut short by her murder, Dick's devotion to primates didn't die with her. He returned to his hometown with Reuben, an adolescent chimp, in the bed of a pickup truck and transformed a trailer home into the Midwest Primate Center. As the tourist trade multiplied, so did the inhabitants of what would become Zoo Nebraska, the unlikeliest boon to Royal's economy in generations and, eventually, the source of a power struggle that would lead to the tragic implosion of Dick Haskin's dream.
Publisher: New York :, Little A,, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781503901506
1503901505
Branch Call Number: 590.73 Vaughan 2019
590.73 V365
NE 590.73 VAUGHAN
Characteristics: 238 pages : map, portrait ; 22 cm

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2019 Omaha Public Library Reading Challenge By The Numbers

Thank you to everyone who took on OPL's 2019 Reading Challenge! We appreciate that you went on this reading journey and that more than 170 participants completed the challenge! Prize winners have been notified for 2019. Find information for the 2020 Reading Challenge for another chance to win this year!  Overall, 173 people submitted entries and read 2,076 books across 12 challenges. Top 15… (more)

2019 Omaha Public Library Reading Challenge By The Numbers

Thank you to everyone who took on OPL's 2019 Reading Challenge! We appreciate that you went on this reading journey and that more than 170 participants completed the challenge! Prize winners have been notified for 2019. Find information for the 2020 Reading Challenge for another chance to win this year!  Overall, 173 people submitted entries and read 2,076 books across 12 challenges. Top 15… (more)


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From Library Staff

Read a book by a Nebraska author

Read a book by a Nebraska author.

"Vaughn's voice is clear and descriptive, sort of like a less playful Sarah Vowell. He gives plenty of space for the townsfolk he interviewed to speak their piece and come to life for the readers, and has been doing a great job tracing what seems to be fairly complicated and poorly recorded ... Read More »

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OPL_MelanieS Jun 14, 2019

A captivating narrative nonfiction work about the dreams and eventually despair of the people who tried to build and sustain a rural zoo. The author presents the complexity of these people living in a small town with big dreams for their community. This book would not only appeal to those from Ne... Read More »

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OPL_KrisC Apr 10, 2019

A very informative look at what happened at a small town zoo when chimps managed to escape. It also includes a lot of information about the formation of the zoo as well as the surrounding community and people. I grew up going to this zoo as a child and it was extremely interesting and eye-openi... Read More »


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t
tjdickey
Mar 19, 2020

What a fun read! A typical dysfunctional but somewhat lovable small town slowly develops a "Midwest Primate Center" (one mobile home with a chimpanzee in the back bedroom) and then works up somehow to a full-fledged zoo. The author takes us through all of the personalities and local politics, the changes in Board membership and zoo directors, through the rise and fall of this institution.

OPL_MelanieS Jun 14, 2019

A captivating narrative nonfiction work about the dreams and eventually despair of the people who tried to build and sustain a rural zoo. The author presents the complexity of these people living in a small town with big dreams for their community. This book would not only appeal to those from Nebraska, but to anyone interested in stories of people coming face-to-face with the reality of their dreams.

l
lilypad_1
May 25, 2019

I live in Omaha and vaguely remember when the Chimps got loose from this zoo and were shot. I thought stupid people, poor animals. After reading this book I still think the same thing. Well intentioned(for the most part) people but not with appropriate training and knowledge trying to rescue animals. Did not work out for anyone, to me was a very sad and tragic story. Book was well written, very informational, interesting, I can see why people want to help animals of course but definitely individuals took on more than they could handle.

OPL_KrisC Apr 10, 2019

A very informative look at what happened at a small town zoo when chimps managed to escape. It also includes a lot of information about the formation of the zoo as well as the surrounding community and people. I grew up going to this zoo as a child and it was extremely interesting and eye-opening to get a behind-the-scenes look.

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