Orangutans and their Battle for Survival is the amazing story of how a relatively small zoo in Australia has become a world leader in breeding orangutans in captivity. It is also a wake-up call to act now to save this critically endangered species. The story of the zoo's orangutans is told through the eyes, and heart, of Leif Cocks. Through his personal encounters with the animals in his care, he presents a fascinating insight into their unique intelligence, individual personalities, and the close bonds that orangutans can form with their keepers. The photographs capture some very special moments at the zoo.
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
A spellbinding tale of survival and self-discovery from award-winning author Michael Morpurgo, who is poised for breakthrough U.S. success. When Michael's father loses his job, he buys a boat and convinces Michael and his mother to sail around the world. It's an ideal trip - even Michael's sheepdog can come along. It starts out as the perfect family adventure - until Michael is swept overboard. He's washed up on an island, where he struggles to survive. Then he discovers that he's not alone. His fellow-castaway, Kensuke, is wary of him. But when Michael's life is threatened, Kensuke slowly lets the boy into his world. The two develop a close understanding in this remote place, but the question of rescue continues to divide them.
Author: Carel van Schaik
One of the world's leading experts on Sumatran orangutans, working in collaboration with a noted nature photographer, takes readers deep into the disappearing world of these captivating primates. Their colorful and complex lives may also help to reconstruct human evolution. Full color.
Author: Richard W. Wrangham, Dale Peterson
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Draws on recent discoveries about human evolution to examine whether violence among men is a product of their primitive heritage, and searches for solutions to the problems of war, rape, and murder
Author: Nancy J. Merrick
Publisher: Beacon Press
Foreword by Jane Goodall A former student and colleague of Jane Goodall shares stories of chimps and their heroes, and takes readers on a journey to save man’s closest relative. Unbeknownst to much of the public, chimps are in trouble: censuses show them to be extinct in four African countries and nearly so in ten others. A large percentage of the remaining populations live in unprotected, increasingly fragmented forests. When Nancy Merrick learned these startling facts in 2009, she decided it was past time to discover the extent to which chimpanzees are at risk across Africa and what can be done. Merrick had begun working with primates in 1972 as a young field assistant in Jane Goodall’s famous Gombe camp. Like the rest of the world at the time, she was swept up in the excitement of discovering the remarkable world of chimpanzees—their ability to fashion tools, their dazzling intelligence, and their complex relationships and societies. From that moment on, her human-centered worldview shifted, and she became a devoted advocate for our closest genetic relatives. When Merrick returns to Africa decades later, she’s alarmed by how much has changed. Human activity, such as agriculture and logging, has encroached on natural habitats throughout equatorial Africa, endangering chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos. In an effort to understand what we can do to save great apes, Merrick connects with primatologists and conservationists who are trying to protect the last great forests. Visits to some of Africa’s parks, sanctuaries, and expanding agricultural areas reveal the urgency of the problems and the inspiration of the people leading the search for solutions. Along the way, Merrick demonstrates that the best hope for chimps and other great apes lies in connecting conservation to humanitarian efforts, ensuring a healthy future for animals and humans alike. Among Chimpanzees is at once an inspiring chronicle of Merrick’s personal search to learn how chimps are faring across Africa and in captivity, a crucial eyewitness account of a very critical period in their existence, and a rousing call for us to join the efforts to be a voice for the chimpanzees, before it’s too late. From the Hardcover edition.
The Secret Journey
Author: Peg Kehret
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In 1834 when a storm at sea destroys the slave ship on which she is a stowaway, twelve-year-old Emma musters all her resourcefulness to survive in the African jungle.
Mothers and Others
Author: Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Mothers and Others finds the key in the primatologically unique length of human childhood. Renowned anthropologist Sarah Hrdy argues that if human babies were to survive in a world of scarce resources, they would need to be cared for, not only by their mothers but also by siblings, aunts, fathers, friends—and, with any luck, grandmothers. Out of this complicated and contingent form of childrearing, Hrdy argues, came the human capacity for understanding others. In essence, mothers and others teach us who will care, and who will not.
Author: Vanessa Woods
A young woman follows her fiancé to war-torn Congo to study extremely endangered bonobo apes-who teach her a new truth about love and belonging. In 2005, Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country reeling from a brutal decade-long war that had claimed the lives of millions. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo's capital, Vanessa and her fiancé entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7 percent of our DNA. She soon discovered that many of the inhabitants of the sanctuary-ape and human alike-are refugees from unspeakable violence, yet bonobos live in a peaceful society in which females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake. A fascinating memoir of hope and adventure, Bonobo Handshake traces Vanessa's self-discovery as she finds herself falling deeply in love with her husband, the apes, and her new surroundings while probing life's greatest question: What ultimately makes us human? Courageous and extraordinary, this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa is about looking past the differences between animals and ourselves, and finding in them the same extraordinary courage and will to survive. For Vanessa, it is about finding her own path as a writer and scientist, falling in love, and finding a home. Watch a Video
The Intimate Ape
Author: Shawn Thompson
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Kusasi is a three-hundred-pound male who could rip your arms and legs off like daisy petals if he wanted. Princess was taught sign language by a researcher and had a limited ability to combine vocabulary. . .. For centuries the shaggy red orangutan lived in peaceful seclusion in the jungles of Southeast Asia and kept the ancient secrets about its quiet, contemplative nature. But that time has come to an end, as one of the earth's most intelligent creatures has, sadly, also become one if its vanishing species. "I went up a muddy brown river called the Sekonyer into the jungles of southern Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, to see orangutans as they really are and to know them the way they deserve to be known. . ." In The Intimate Ape, journalist Shawn Thompson brings together a global assemblage of primatologists, conservationists, and volunteers to reveal the intricate life of these majestic primates. As he travels through the steamy rainforests of Sumatra and the jungle river valleys of Borneo, visiting nature preserves and observing conservation programs, Thompson describes the emotional and intellectual lives of orangutans and recognizes the people who have committed their lives to understand, protect, and ultimately rescue this powerful yet sensitive relation of humanity. "An extraordinary book that adds to our understanding of the animal world." --From the Foreword by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson After 17 years as a reporter, photographer, and editor at newspapers in Ontario, Shawn Thompson became a full-time assistant professor in the journalism department at Thompson Rivers University, in British Columbia, Canada. He has traveled the world to find orangutans and interview orangutan scientists, including trips to Sumatra and Borneo (the only places in the world where orangutans are found in the wild), Java, the Philippines, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States. He lives in the small city of Kamloops, in the mountainous interior of British Columbia. This is his sixth book.
Three astounding women scientists have in recent years penetrated the jungles of Africa and Borneo to observe, nurture, and defend humanity's closest cousins. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years; Diane Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruté Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the orangutans of Borneo. All three began their work as protégées of the great Anglo-African archeologist Louis Leakey, and each spent years in the field, allowing the apes to become their familiars--and ultimately waging battles to save them from extinction in the wild. Their combined accomplishments have been mind-blowing, as Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas forever changed how we think of our closest evolutionary relatives, of ourselves, and of how to conduct good science. From the personal to the primate, Sy Montgomery--acclaimed author of The Soul of an Octopus and The Good Good Pig--explores the science, wisdom, and living experience of three of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.
Author: John Crocker
An exhilarating quest into a remote African forest to examine chimpanzees and understand the roots of human behavior.
Author: Dale Peterson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Details how, with the unprecedented opening of African forests by European and Asian logging companies, the traditional consumption of wild animal meat in Central Africa has suddenly exploded in scope and impact, moving from what was recently a subsistence activity to an enormous and completely unsustainable commercial enterprise. Although the three African great apes account for only about one percent of the commercial bush meat trade, today's rate of slaughter could bring about their extinction in the next few decades. Eating Apes documents the when, where, how, and why of this rapidly accelerating disaster. In bringing the facts of this crisis and these impending extinctions into a single, accessible book, Peterson takes us one step closer to averting one of the most disturbing threats to our closest relatives.--From publisher description.
Among the Orangutans
Author: Evelyn Gallardo
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Describes the life and research of Birutâe Galdikas, prominent expert on the behavior of orangutans in the wild.
Lying in the remote hills of southwest Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest harbors elephants, chimpanzees, monkeys, and half the world's population of endangered mountain gorillas. For two years, Thor Hanson called that forest home, working with local guides and trackers to develop an ecotourism program for the newly-formed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Thoroughly researched and beautifully told, Hanson's story blends natural history with cultural insight to place the forest and the gorillas in the context of modern Africa. The Impenetrable Forest offers a rare glimpse into the world of mountain gorillas, and the human cultures that surround them. A must-read for anyone interested in gorilla tracking, endangered species, or travel to Uganda.
Author: Aesop, Arthur Rackham
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions
A collection of animal fables told by the Greek slave Aesop.