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Kindred Beings: What 73 Chimpanzees Taught Me about Life, Love, and Connection

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Kindred Beings: What 73 Chimpanzees Taught Me about Life, Love, and Connection Cover

ISBN13: 9780062132482
ISBN10: 0062132482
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Enter a world of tender friendships, staunch loyalties, violent jealousies — and enduring love.

As a child, Sheri Speede knew that she wanted to advocate for animals in any way she could. But it was not until many years after veterinary school, when she was transporting a chimpanzee named Pierre away from a biomedical facility as part of her job as a conservation advocate in Cameroon, that Dr. Speede discovered her true calling. She began to search for land for a forest sanctuary for captive chimpanzees that were held on chains and in small cages at local hotels.

Dr. Speede eventually founded the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, a forested home for orphans of the illegal ape meat trade. One chimpanzee, Dorothy, was rescued by Dr. Speede and her colleagues from a bleak existence imprisoned on a chain and forged a deep friendship with her. Dr. Speede explains how chimpanzees, like humans, are capable of a broad spectrum of emotional behaviors — both hateful and loving. Dr. Speede also candidly reveals her own struggles as a stranger in a foreign culture trying to adjust to rural African village life. And she admits that unlike Dorothy, she was not always kind, gentle, and forgiving.

Dorothy died of old age at the sanctuary, and a photograph of Dorothy's funeral, in which Dr. Speede cradled Dorothy's head while her family of chimpanzees mournfully viewed her body, went viral after being published in National Geographic. The world was surprised at the depth of the chimps' grief at the loss of their friend, but Dr. Speede was not. Through the chimps, she had come to understand the meaning of love, loyalty, and true connection.

While this is a compelling story about the emotional complexity of the chimpanzees she rescued and befriended, it is also Dr. Speede's story. Major events in her personal life, including love affairs, dangerous run-ins with criminals, and the birth of her daughter, unfold as the development of her primate rescue center runs parallel to her own development. Ultimately, Kindred Beings is a story of profound resilience, of both the apes and the woman who loved them.

About the Author

Sheri Speede, a doctor of veterinary medicine, collaborated with the Cameroon government to found the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, a forested home for orphans of the illegal ape meat trade. With Edmund Stone, she established In Defense of Animals-Africa (IDA-Africa) as a division of IDA International and as the U.S. base of support for the work in Cameroon. Between 1998 and 2011 she lived in Africa full-time; currently, she divides her time between Africa and Portland, Oregon.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Ronald B Gould, January 13, 2014 (view all comments by Ronald B Gould)
My bad. Edmund Stone is not on OPB. He is key to All Classical Portland (www.thescore.org). Sorry for the error. And the book is still great.

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Ronald B Gould, January 13, 2014 (view all comments by Ronald B Gould)
Kindred Beings is one of the best reads I have had in the past 15 years. Dr. Speede finds a way to connect you to the world of chimpanzees and literally talk about life, love and connection. Be prepared to cry through the second half of the book. And she now spends half of the year back in Portland, Oregon. For those of you who enjoy Oregon Public Radio, find yourself also connected to Edmund Stone, Host and Producer of "The Score". He and several other people are key to the success of Sheri Speede's colorful memoir. Enjoy!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780062132482
Subtitle:
What 73 Chimpanzees Taught Me about Life, Love, and Connection
Author:
Speede, Sheri
Publisher:
HarperOne
Subject:
Zoology
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20130910
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.97 in 22.8 oz

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Travel » Africa » West

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