271 pages, 30 halftones, 27 line drawings, 3 maps
This seminal work chronicles George B. Schaller's two years of travel and observation of gorillas in East and Central Africa in the late 1950s, high in the Virunga volcanoes on the Zaire-Rwanda-Uganda border. There, he learned that these majestic animals, far from being the aggressive apes of film and fiction, form close-knit societies of caring mothers and protective fathers watching over playful young. Alongside his observations of gorilla society, Schaller celebrates the enforced yet splendid solitude of the naturalist, recounts the adventures he experienced along the way, and offers a warning against poaching and other human threats against these endangered creatures. This edition features a postscript detailing Schaller's more recent visits with gorillas, current to 2009.
Whether the author is tracking gorillas, slipping past elephant herds on narrow jungle paths, avoiding poachers' deadfalls, or routing Watusi invaders, this is an exciting book. Although Schaller feels that this is 'not an adventure book,' few readers will be able to agree. - Irven DeVore, Science "In the course of his fresh, bright book, Schaller does not so much argue for his biological ecumenism as - talking, walking, doing, going, describing - he exemplifies it." - Naomi Bliven, New Yorker"
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George B. Schaller is a senior conservationist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and vice president of Panthera, a foundation devoted to the conservation of wild cats. He is the author of many books, including The Mountain Gorilla and The Last Panda, both published by the University of Chicago Press.