From time to time, I share book reviews on www.terrancezepke.com and www.terrancetalkstravel.com. When I returned from my gorilla safari in Africa recently, I read Walking With the Great Apes by Sy Montgomery. It is about famed archeologist Louis Leakey and “Leakey’s Angels.” Leakey carefully chose three women to study primates in far-flung places. Jane Goodall (British) is probably the most famous of his angels. She studied chimpanzees in Gombe and has been a great champion of this species for many years. Diane Fossey (American) was selected to study gorillas in Rwanda. The last angel was Birute Galdikas (Canadian), who studied orangutans in Borneo. Each has been heralded and criticized by the scientific community. But the one thing that they all have in common and cannot be disputed by anyone is their role in saving these endangered species from extinction. In fact, her zealousness in protecting the gorillas is what got Dian Fossey killed. I found each of their stories fascinating because they truly were pioneers in their fields. Virtually no one had done any studies on any of these primates before these three young women began their studies. No one had even gotten close to any of these species before them. And their camps and conditions were remote and primitive, to say the least!
Walking with the Great Apes (Houghton Mifflin) is a great reference for learning more about these remarkable women and their contributions to these specific species and to mankind in general. It’s also a great read for anyone who is interested in anthropology, Africa, and in animals–gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans.
There have been many movies, articles, and interviews about these three women. I highly recommend Gorillas in the Mist (available in paperback and on DVD), which features Dian Fossey’s work with gorillas.
FYI: We are just a month or so away from Halloween. Yippee! So for the next month, my posts will be all about Halloween. I’ll be sharing special seasonal events, haunted attractions, ghost stories, decorating tips, recipes, and much more.