Sarah Bird has had a lifelong connection to 150 snow monkeys. (Not many people can attest to that.) She has followed their story since they were transported from Japan in 1972—for a new life in Texas—and is now determined to meet them one last time. There is no fairytale ending, but there is a beautiful story.

The national treasures had become public nuisances. Unless a new home was found, the 150 rogue monkeys would become candidates for either lab studies or the dissection table. When no takers could be found in Japan, a five-alarm alert went up throughout the international community to save these members of the only group of primates whose behavior and matrilineal lines had been studied for over a decade. For six years, scientists around the globe searched for a safe home for the endangered monkeys.