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“Craig Pittman has a remarkable talent for telling stories set in the Sunshine State that never fail to fascinate and entertain.”—Gilbert King
“The definitive book on one of America’s least understood apex predators. The story of how Florida’s panthers were saved from extinction is one that both deserves and needs to be told.” —Dane Huckelbridge
It wasn’t so long ago when a lot of people thought the Florida panther was extinct. They were very nearly right. That the panther still exists at all is a miracle—the result of a desperate experiment that led to the most remarkable comeback in the history of the Endangered Species Act. And no one has told the whole story—until now.
With novelistic detail and an eye for the absurd, Craig Pittman recounts the extraordinary story of the people who brought the panther back from the brink of extinction, the ones who nearly pushed the species over the edge, and the cats that were caught in the middle. This being Florida, there’s more than a little weirdness, too.
An engrossing narrative of wry humor, sharp writing and exhaustive reportage, Cat Tale shows what it takes to bring one species back and what unexpected costs such a decision brings.
[A] delightful blend of scientific writing and good old-fashioned muckraking… The ups-and-downs in this tale of survival, coupled with the charisma of the panther, make Pittman's "cat tale" hard to put down.”
—Booklist, starred review
“In this era of bleak environmental news, Craig Pittman's Cat Tale comes as a witty and passionate reminder that nature is robust--it wants to live!--and that we humans, with concerted effort, a wariness of cynicism and profiteering, and a certain ability to roll with frustration, can do a great deal to reverse the course we're on.”
—Lauren Groff, author of Florida
“Craig Pittman has a remarkable talent for telling stories set in the Sunshine State that never fail to fascinate and entertain. Sure, Cat Tale has plenty of laughs and Florida weirdness, but Pittman has written a truly inspirational story about the panther’s brush with extinction, and the human beings who were determined to save the species. You won’t be able to put Cat Tale down.”
—Gilbert King, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning Devil in the Grove
"A fun, informative, and engaging read, Cat Tale is the definitive book on one of America's least understood apex predators. The story of how Florida's panthers were saved from extinction is one that both deserves and needs to be told."
—Dane Huckelbridge, author of No Beast So Fierce
“Expertly navigating the wild lands and political jungle of Florida, the preeminent environmental journalist Craig Pittman reaches out and grabs his reader like a panther. And you grab back. The story—sobering and stirring, mottled with irony and bits of humor—is too good to let go.”
—Jack E. Davis, author of The Gulf
“With a mixture of science, politics, personalities and the Endangered Species Act, Craig Pittman weaves an intriguing story, following the efforts to recover the Florida Panther from extinction. This captivating book builds a story around the science and touched on my own experiences with defending cougars and wolves. It drew me in with its humor, frustrated me with all the bureaucracy and forcefully presented a path for those who care to join and fight back before it’s too late.”
—Jim Dutcher, coauthor of The Wisdom of Wolves