John MacKinnon, discoverer of the saola and other new species from the “Lost World” of Vietnam, grew up deeply interested in wildlife. The grandson of a British prime minister, James Ramsay MacDonald, he was born into a large family in Leeds. Early in his career, he spent a year in Tanzania studying insect behaviour, as well as chimpanzees with Jane Goodall. MacKinnon went on to Oxford for a zoology degree, receiving his Ph.D. while working under Nikolaas Tinbergen and Desmond Morris.
From 1968 through 1970, MacKinnon was in Borneo on a one-man expedition studying orangutans, and later was in Sumatra observing the native orangs there. In 1970, while in the Malaysian state of Sabah, he recorded his own finds of footprints of the mysterious ape-like Batutut. MacKinnon eventually would study all the other apes of Asia and Africa. MacKinnon is a flashback to the great animal discoverers of the past, like Gerald Russell and Carl Hagenbeck, but he is a modern conservationist, too. His unique combination of instincts and field training makes him one of the best field cryptozoologists alive at the end of the twentieth century. Through his current work in Vietnam under the sponsorship of the World Wildlife Fund, MacKinnon continues to make amazing discoveries of new animals.
The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark