Zoo Nebraska

Zoo Nebraska

The Dismantling of An American Dream

Book - 2019
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A resonant true story of small-town politics and community perseverance and of decent people and questionable choices, Zoo Nebraska is a timely requiem for a rural America in the throes of extinction.

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
NE 590.73 VAUGHAN
Characteristics: 238 pages : map, portrait ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

"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 »

Read a book by a Nebraska author.

Comment
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 »

Read a book by a Nebraska author.


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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 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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