Riley's Reviews > Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas

Walking with the Great Apes by Sy Montgomery
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really liked it

A really good biography of three of the world's best known primatologists, and how their approaches to their science allowed them to see things that their male counterparts did not.

I've always felt that the most inspiring people are those that succeed in what they love. In that sense, Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas are uplifting individuals, though Dian Fossey, not so much.

Given descriptions like what follows, it is hard not to be interested in primates or impressed with Goodall, Galdikas and Fossey's commitment and sacrifice:

"Few wild orphans are as pathetically vulnerable as a baby orangutan. In the wild an infant clings constantly to its mother's coarse fur for most of its first two years. It nurses until the age eight. You cannot put an orangutan baby down as you would a human infant. A healthy infant orangutan hands on so tight with its four-fisted grip that it leaves bruises on your flesh; any attempt to dislodge the infant from your body, even for a moment, brings high-pitched, pathetic screams until it begins to choke on its own terror.

"Birute's first infant was not her own [son] Binti, it was Sugito. The year-old male orangutan arrived only days after she and Rod had set up camp. Sugito had been taken from his mother in the wild and had lived in a tiny wooden crate until he was found and confiscated by Indonesian government officials. Determined to mother him as a female orangutan would care for her baby, Birute slept, ate, and bathed with the wide-eyed infant clinging to her side, legs, arms, or head. Only three times in the first year did so force him off her body."
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 1, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 21, 2014 – Shelved

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