Arresting true-life stories demonstrate that it’s a jungle out there.
Assembled from an interesting array of natural-science and wildlife writers, syndicated newspaper columnist Tougias’s 38 selections demonstrate the dangers of a variety of deadly animals populating the oceans, national parks and wild African kingdoms. The terrors of the wild grizzly bear, a “widely distributed form of terrestrial omnivore,” are explored by Outdoor Life editor Peter Hathaway Capstick, who opens the collection with a chatty, meandering essay highlighting the brutal 1967 mauling of several teenagers camping in Glacier National Park. Thirteen subsequent pieces also document wild bears (most unfazed by shotgun fire) gnawing limbs, breaking ribs and trampling and slashing campers. Ravenous tigers and lions pounce in the next section, followed by a gathering of stories about crocodiles and sharks. In “Beach Haven: July 1, 1916,” Richard G. Fernicola describes his investigation of a mysterious shark assault on a New Jersey holiday bather. Capstick returns with a grisly report in “Crocodile Attack,” which details the “African junkyard” found in their stomachs. Saltwater crocs wreak havoc Down Under in a selection of snippets from Michael Garlock’s essay, “Australia: Salties Rule Supreme.” The final section is particularly bizarre, highlighting lethal attacks from a variety of animals not ordinarily known for vicious, violent behavior. A disturbing chase scene involving a monkey is likely to frighten readers, as will random recollections of pigs, baboons and aggressive deer attacks.
Makes staying home seem a sensible choice.