Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Of Bats, Pythons and the Marburg Virus

Read an excerpt from Spillover, David Quammen's new book about emergent pandemics.

Quammen visits the Writers Institute tomorrow, Thursday.

"Astrid Joosten was a 41-year-old Dutch woman who, in June 2008, went to Uganda with her husband. At home in Noord-Brabant, she worked as a business analyst. Both she and her husband, Jaap Taal, a financial manager, enjoyed annual adventures, especially to Africa. The journey in 2008, booked through an adventure-travel outfitter, took them to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to mountain gorillas. While there, the operators offered an optional trip, to a place called the Maramagambo Forest, where the chief attraction was a peculiar site known as Python Cave. African rock pythons lived there, languid and content, grown large and fat on a diet of bats."

More in The Guardian:

More on Quammen's visit:

Picture:  Egyptian fruit bats, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda