In her enchanting memoir, Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Uganda's first wildlife veterinarian, tells the remarkable story from her animal-loving childhood to her career protecting endangered mountain gorillas and other wild animals. She is also the defender of people as a groundbreaking promoter of human public health and an advocate for revolutionary integrated approaches to saving our planet. In an increasingly interconnected world, animal and human health alike depend on sustainable solutions and Dr. Gladys has developed an innovative approach to conservation among the endangered Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and their human neighbours.
Walking with Gorillas takes the reader on an incredible personal journey with Dr Gladys, from her early days as a student in Uganda, enduring the assassination of her father during civil war, to her veterinarian education in England to establishing the first veterinary department for the Ugandan government to founding one of the first organizations in the world that enables people to coexist with wildlife through improving the health and wellbeing of both. Her award-winning approach reduced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on critically endangered mountain gorillas.
In the face of discrimination and a male-dominated world, one woman's passion and determination to build a brighter future for the local wildlife and human community offer inspiration and insights into what is truly possible for our planet when we come together.
2022 Edinburgh Medal recipient, National Geographic Explorer, and winner of the Sierra Club Earthcare Award, Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka has been a lifelong champion of wildlife, from the early days of looking after stray animals at home to setting up a wildlife club at school. As an African woman growing up in a male-dominated society, she found the determination and courage to overcome the many obstacles to her gender to become Uganda’s first wildlife vet, treating the critically endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi National Park. From there, she founded her non-profit, Conservation Through Public Health, a systems-changing policy of making human health a priority to assure the health of wildlife, and the social enterprise, Gorilla Conservation Coffee to protect endangered gorillas, create health and prosperity for the local human communities, and be a caretaker for our planet. She lives outside Kampala, Uganda, with her husband and sons.