The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story
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The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The true gripping story of how scientist George Schaller and four mountain men set out to save the chiru (antelope-like creatures who cannot survive captivity and who live on the high plains of Tibet) from near extinction.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 27th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Beautifully illustrated true story about efforts to discover the breeding grounds of a cute little animal called a chiru that lives in the mountains of Tibet. The chiru were being hunted and killed for their soft wool (shahtoosh) and for their long black horns, which were said to have medicinal powers. A man named George B. Schaller felt that if the secret breeding grounds of the chiru could be found, that place could be protected from hunters, and the species could be saved. Expeditions to foll...more
This is an interesting story about an endangered species I had never heard of before. The tricky bit about this whole story is that geographically it takes place in a political hot zone in Tibet, where saving animals is complicated by the region's difficult relationships with China and the rest of the world. For some reason, this book, in transcending any mention of these political minefields, made me think this had all taken place several hundred years ago. It was only towards the middle, when...more
An appealing and interesting account of the attempts, failures, and final success in establishing government protection for the fragile chiru of Tibet, a small animal coveted for its incredibly fine hair. The chiru can't survive without its hair, because of the extreme climate in which it lives, and no chiru has yet survived in captivity. Its mysterious and distant breeding grounds were long sought by a German man in order to protect it, but the remote, virtual inaccessibility of this place defi...more
Lashaunda Brown
The Chiru of High Tibet
Overview: The true story of how scientists risked their lives to save the Chiru (chee-roo), which are antelope-like animals that were hunted for their fleece.

W.4.1.b Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
RI.4.5 Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

Focus: Planning Descriptive Text Structure

1. Inform students that inf...more
The chiru are a small antelope like species who live on the plains of the Chang Tang in northern Tibet. Sought out for their wool (shahtoosh, the warmest of wools), the chiru have been hunted and poached to a dangerous degree. The animals can't be shorn, like sheep, because it is simply too cold, and chiru haven't successfully been raised in captivity. George Schaller learned of their plight and tried to track them to the birthing grounds several times. Four trekkers eventually managed to find t...more
I didn't know what a Chiru was until I read this book. Often referred to as the "Tibetan Antelope" the Chiru is actually part of the goat family. They are considered an endangered species because women quickly found that their wool is amazingly soft. It takes 5 chiru (murdered and skinned) to make one coat. The group of trekkers in this story set out to find the calving grounds of the females. It took many tries but they finally found them. They were able to inform the Chinese government where t...more
Feb 09, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Gorgeous illustrations highlight this true story about attempts to protect the Chiru, an animal highly desired for it's luxurious wool, but who, unfortunately, has to be killed in order to get it. We'd never even heard of this animal before, so this story was an educational experience for all of us. The story was engaging and suspenseful, and did I say that the illustrations were amazing (especially in the first pages)? We also enjoyed the photographs of the actual expedition that were at the en...more
Story of George Schaller of Germany's quest to protect the chiru's birthing grounds from hunters. He needed to actually find their birthing grounds which was quite tough as no one knew where it was. He attempted to follow them several different years but was unsuccessful. Then, 4 mountain climbers offered to follow them. They would be the packhorses. It was a one way trip of over 200 miles. Book doesn't include whether he was successful in getting protection for the chirus, though.
Lovely illustrations help depict the true story of the saving of the adorable Chiru animals of High Tibet. This is a great book for children who may be just about ready for chapter books as the author tells each story from the point of view of the character in that portion. The author writes in a style that isn't dry and makes the text fun and interesting for kids. Plus it's educational!
True life account of a group of men that set off to find the calving grounds of the endangered chiru of Tibet in order to protect the area from hunters. It's an interesting read. As an adult reader I enjoyed it. My son, a second grader, would have been bored by it. I think the text is more appropriate for older primary grade readers. The illustrations are lovely but not breathtaking.
Elisabeth W.  Rauch
The story of the Chiru, a herd animal from tibet with fantastic fiber. They must be killed if their fiber is taken and they were a species in danger of extinction. A man took interest in keeping them alive and wanted to protect their birthing grounds, but first he had to find it! The story was kind of long and involved for kids, but a neat informational picture book.
The chiru of Tibet are so rare, few people have heard of them. Poachers, coveting the chirus' warm, luxurious fur, have killed almost all of them. Travel to Tibet with the four scientists/trackers who discovered the chirus' birthing grounds and worked with the Chinese government to protect these animals.
Maggie Wrobel
For children grades 1-5. Animal lovers and adventure seekers will enjoy learning about how the Chiru (a deer-like creature)were saved from the brink of extinction by a diverse group of people from around the globe--a remarkable, daring mission.
Sharon Lawler
Fascinating adventure about scientist George Schaller and four mountain men who pulled their supplies through the desolate plains and of Chang Tang, in search of the secret calving grounds of the chiru.
The art is of mixed quality (especially if you compare the photograph in the back to the artistic rendering of the men), but the story about the quest for chiru is compelling.
Amanda Martinez Kirby
Beautiful illustrations interesting story. A little too much information at times making it not the best book to read aloud. Great for one on one reading.
Do you know the story of Chiru? Ever even heard of them? I hadn't till I read this inspiring story of a man who decides to help this dying species.
A little vague about how it all turned out, but a thrilling account of trying to protect an endangered animal under extreme circumstances.
Wonderful picture book about saving a species of animal, the chiru, with which I was unfamiliar. Beautiful illustrations and presentation.
I wish that the layout of this nonfiction story was a bit better. Otherwise, an interesting and clearly told story.
Well told story about the rare Chiru and how they were saved from extinction. Illustrations are unique
Edward Sullivan
Wonderful story, stunning illustrations!
Powers Family
Great true story of saving an at risk species.
Who knew about the chiru?
Grok Testuser
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Dec 13, 2013
Steven Strader
Steven Strader marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2013
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