Join Mary Roach, a best-selling, fascinating and funny science writer, as she investigates the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet. What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. Today, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence, but in the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.
Roach tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and "danger tree" faller blasters. Intrepid as ever, she travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter’s Square in the early hours before the pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. She taste-tests rat bait, learns how to install a vulture effigy, and gets mugged by a macaque.
Exploring little-known forensic science and conservation genetics along with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about wildlife. She finds humans are often the problem as well as the solution. The author offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.