William deBuys and Bill Robichaud, reading from The Last Unicorn
Join Pulitzer Prize finalist William deBuys and Wisconsin native and conservation biologist Bill Robichaud as they recount their adventures to the heart of Southeast Asia’s jungles in search of the saola, an antelope-like mammal so elusive that no biologist has ever seen it in the wild. deBuys will read from his critically acclaimed book, The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures, which details the team’s punishing trek up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain to try to get a glimpse of the mysterious species in the wild. Robichaud will answer questions about the Asian “unicorn,” his 30 years working to save the species from extinction, and Wisconsin’s notable connections to saola conservation.
Guests will also have an opportunity to purchase crafts from Henry Vilas Zoo’s Catching Hope program, which raises funds for saola conservation by selling artistic dream catchers and key chains made from illegal hunting snares that rangers in Laos and Vietnam have collected.
This event is hosted by A Room of One's Own, the Saola Working Group, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Henry Vilas Zoo.
William deBuys’s eight books include The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures (listed by the Christian Science Monitor as one of the ten best non-fiction books of 2015), A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American West (2011), The Walk (2008), Seeing Things Whole: The Essential John Wesley Powell (2001), Salt Dreams (1999), and River of Traps (a 1991 Pulitzer finalist). He was a 2008-2009 Guggenheim Fellow. His conservation work over many years has included land acquisition, river protection, and grass banking. From 2001 to 2005, he chaired the Valles Caldera Trust, which then administered the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. He serves on the advisory board of the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation and lives and writes on a small farm in northern New Mexico that he has tended since the 1970s.
Bill Robichaud is a conservation biologist, and a native of Wisconsin. He holds degrees in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of British Columbia. He first traveled to Vietnam in 1990, with the International Crane Foundation, to survey endangered Sarus Cranes on the Mekong Delta. His professional focus has remained in Southeast Asia ever since. He is a former Laos country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, and is the founding Coordinator of the Saola Working Group of the Internation Union for the Conservation of Nature. In 2015, he was recipient of IUCN’s Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership. He is one of few westerners who have ever seen a live Saola. Although his birthplace is Milwaukee, and his workplace Southeast Asia, he sincerely hopes to die in his home, the Driftless Area – ideally while picking morels.