Review: The Last Unicorn
In February 2011, Pulitzer-Prize finalist William deBuys found himself immersed in a dew-dripping, leech-infested jungle in the watershed of the Nam Nyang river. The region—buried deep within the Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area in central Laos—had never before been seen by Western eyes. DeBuys, along with biologist William Robichaud, two Lao university students, and a small crew of porters, was hoping to find an animal as “rare as the rarest thing on Earth:” the saola.
“Like that other one-horned beast, it stands close to being the apotheosis of the ineffable, the embodiment of magic in nature,” writes deBuys in his new book, The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures. “Unlike the unicorn, however, the saola is corporeal. It lives, and it can die.”