Among the great apes: adventures on the trail of our closest relatives.

Among the great apes: adventures on the trail of our closest relatives. Paul Raffaele.

New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2011. Octavo, paperback, colour photographs.

The great apes - gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans - are our closest relatives, with whom we share most of our DNA. For centuries, we humans have been drawn to study the great apes to learn more about ourselves and to see the unique way in which their lives reflect ours. While great scientists, including Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, and Frans de Waal, have raised our consciousness about these amazing species, conservation efforts have been limited. Now these astonishing animals are on the brink of extinction in the wild. This is the first book in over a decade to investigate in depth our charismatic cousins in their native habitats. Acclaimed nature writer Paul Raffaele takes readers on a journey from isolated jungles to misty mountain forests, exploring the lives of the great apes, revealing differences between and within species. In addition, he interviews leading conservationists and researchers working to save and study the apes, including Richard Leakey, Takiyoshi Kano, and Richard Wrangham. From Rwanda to Borneo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Uganda, Raffaele explores the different human cultures of the countries in which the great apes live, and shows how in lands plagued by civil unrest and corrupt government, poaching, habitat loss, and war are threatening to make them extinct in the wild.

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