A Living Dinosaur - On the Hunt in West Africa

or, How I Avoided Prison but was Outsmarted by a Snail

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Pub Date 09 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 05 Sep 2022
John Hunt Publishing Ltd, www.6th-books.com

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Description

Pat Spain was nearly thrown in a Cameroonian prison, learned to use a long-drop toilet while a village of pygmy children watched, and was deemed “too dirty to fly” for this book.

On the Hunt in West Africa finds Bostonian Pat Spain, an inexperienced but enthusiastic traveler and wildlife biologist, on the first shoot of his new National Geographic TV series in Cameroon, the Congo, and the Central African Republic. He was told it would be his “trial by fire” for the world of wildlife TV, and soon finds that to be literally true after their decrepit pick-up truck catches fire while doing 100 MPH on a dirt road. Things only get more uncomfortable for Pat from there as he experiences the wildlife (getting charged by a silverback gorilla and having a killer bee land on his exposed penis), the food (eating rat and face-meltingly hot peppers), and some local traditions (he’s almost arrested, accidentally married, and inadvertently invites an evil forest spirit to live in the Pygmy village he’s staying in), and somehow manages (in his mind, at least) to solve the mystery of Mokele M’Bembe - a supposed living dinosaur in the riverways connecting these three countries.

Pat Spain was nearly thrown in a Cameroonian prison, learned to use a long-drop toilet while a village of pygmy children watched, and was deemed “too dirty to fly” for this book.

On the Hunt in West...


A Note From the Publisher

Pat Spain is a wildlife biologist, cryptozoologist, biotech expert, TV presenter, key-note speaker, author, and cancer survivor with a passion for adventure. Pat is always enthusiastically seeking his next great escapade, and the opportunity to add to his ever growing list of “things that have bitten or stung him”. As the great nephew of the "Prophet of the Unexplained" Charles Fort, Pat thinks of himself as carrying on a family tradition by questioning mainstream science, considering unusual explanations for bizarre phenomena, and generally, investigating those things most people write off as impossible.

In the course of his journeys, Pat’s been charged by a silverback gorilla, initiated into a remote Amazonian tribe by participating in the most extreme ceremony in the world, the bullet ant ritual (nearly 1M YouTube views), been 1000 feet under the ocean in a 3-man-sub, nearly been shot down in a helicopter, eaten cat in Sumatra and rat in Cameroon, has lain down in a pit of 275,000 snakes, and spent up to 19 hours a day for four years running experiments in a space suit, inside a sterile bubble, in a state-of-the-art biotech lab.

The one constant in his life is a passion for adventure, education, and entertainment. Pat has served as Keynote Speaker at The Royal Geographical Society in London, NASA, and multiple international Universities. Pat’s latest adventure TV series, Legend Hunter (7X60min episodes) aired on Travel Channel in 2019 with 5-10 million viewers per week. He lives in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Pat Spain is a wildlife biologist, cryptozoologist, biotech expert, TV presenter, key-note speaker, author, and cancer survivor with a passion for adventure. Pat is always enthusiastically seeking...


Advance Praise

Pat Spain is that rare thing; a rationalist who still embraces the possible and knows that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of. A grown-up who has lost none of the childhood wonder and curiosity that makes the world magical. A scientist who keeps an open mind and rejoices in the fact that absence of proof is not proof of absence. There is nobody I’d want to travel with more to explore the wild side of our literally extraordinary planet. Buckle up and prepare for adventures.

Harry Marshall, Chairman and Co-Founder of Icon Films 


Spain’s book is a fascinating and hilarious romp through some of the wildest places on Earth. Strap on your seatbelt (if you’re lucky enough to have one) and join the ride!

Lyle Blackburn, author of The Beast of Boggy Creek  

Pat Spain is that rare thing; a rationalist who still embraces the possible and knows that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of. A grown-up who has lost none of the childhood...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781789046564
PRICE $14.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley.

A Living Dinosaur - On the Hunt in West Africa is a lovely, short little memoir about TV’s Pat Spain hunt for Mokele Membe, a sauropod, believed to exist in West Africa. It is written in a very humorous style and anyone who enjoys the dry wit and wry observations of a traveller, will thoroughly enjoy this book. There’s toilet humour, a killer bee that lands on a certain exposed body part and even a charging silverback gorilla, guaranteed to scare anyone.

This book was entertaining and such a Quick read, I’d thoroughly recommend!

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I never saw National Geographic’s Beast Hunter (which ran for five episodes in 2011), but that isn’t a necessary precursor to enjoying host Pat Spain’s account of filming the series. A Living Dinosaur: On the Hunt in West Africa: Or, How I Avoided Prison But Was Outsmarted by a Snail is one of six short books that Spain wrote about his time filming with Nat Geo — as he travelled the world looking for monsters and cryptids — and the result in this volume is charming, funny, and thoughtful. As a wildlife biologist, Spain is fascinated by the critters he encounters in the West African rainforest — from millipede to silverback — and as a wide-eyed fish-out-of-water traveller, he has plenty of you-couldn’t-make-this-stuff-up stories about his madcap adventures. Personally, I might have preferred an opportunity to read all six volumes together — or, at any rate, for this book to be longer or deeper — but if my only complaint is that I wanted more, that’s not much of a complaint at all.

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