Reflections Of Eden

Reflections Of Eden

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by Birute M. F. Galdikas
     
 

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From the first, it was an adventure. In 1971, at age twenty-five, Galdikas left the placid world of American academia for the remote jungles of Indonesian Borneo. Living with her husband in a primitive camp, she became surrogate mother to a "family" of ex-captive orangutans - and gradually adjusted to the blood-sucking leeches, swarms of carnivorous insects, and

Overview

From the first, it was an adventure. In 1971, at age twenty-five, Galdikas left the placid world of American academia for the remote jungles of Indonesian Borneo. Living with her husband in a primitive camp, she became surrogate mother to a "family" of ex-captive orangutans - and gradually adjusted to the blood-sucking leeches, swarms of carnivorous insects, and constant humidity that rotted her belongings in the first year. Her first son spent the early years of his life at Camp Leakey with adopted orangutans as his only playmates. The wild orangutans Galdikas studied and the ex-captives she rehabilitated became an extended family of characters no less vivid than her human companions. Throatpouch, a huge and irritable grouch, fought off rivals for the right to claim adolescent Priscilla as his mate. Handsome Cara at first tried to rid the forest of its human intruder by hurling dead branches at Galdikas from the canopy above. Little Sugito, rescued from a cramped cage and returned to the jungle claimed Galdikas as his mother and clung to her fiercely, night and day, for months. A groundbreaking chronicler of the orangutans' life cycle, Galdikas also describes the threats that increasingly menace them: the battles with poachers and loggers, the illicit trade in infant orangutans, the frustrations of official bureaucracy. Her story is a rare combination of personal epiphany, crucial scientific discovery, and international impact - a life of human and environmental challenge. Reflections of Eden is the third act of a drama that has captivated the world: the story of a pioneering primatologist, a world leader in conservation, and a remarkable woman.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Primatologist Galdikas's memoir of her years spent conducting the first extended study of the life of orangutans in the wild. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Until now, fans of primatologist Galdikas had to make do with brief accounts of her life and work in books such as Evelyn Gallardo's Among the Orangutans (Chronicle, 1993) and Sy Montgomery's Walking with the Great Apes (LJ 2/1/91). Galdikas, along with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, was recruited by Louis Leaky to conduct long-term field studies of the great apes, in her case orangutans. While not as famous (or notorious) as her colleagues, Galdikas has been a phenomenal success in both her scientific studies and the conservation of orangutans. She also became immersed in Indonesian culture, marrying and raising children with a native Bornean. This book is a wonderful account of both her scientific work and personal experiences with a harsh environment, the loss of beloved orangutans, and the end of her first marriage to Canadian Rod Brindamour. Her humanity, courage, and dedication shine on every page. Highly recommended for all libraries, this book will inspire young scientists and enthrall anyone interested in orangutans and the rigors of modern field research. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/94.]-Beth Clewis, Prince William P.L., Va.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316301862
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
08/19/1996
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
436
Sales rank:
771,180
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.97(d)

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Reflections Of Eden 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the path to the front lines of organismal research and conservation seems to have so many different twists, turns, and multiple-laned streets. and once there it seems as though there is no path at all, but just wide open space. it really is a different kind of life, and unless you can get out there and try to experience it, this is the absolute next best thing. and then there's the orangutans...