In 1978, when Bill Weber and Amy Vedder arrived in Rwanda to study mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey, the gorilla population was teetering towards extinction. Poaching was rampant, but it was loss of habitat that most endangered the gorillas. When yet another slice of the Virunga Mountains was targeted for development, Weber and Vedder recognized that the gorillas were doomed unless something was done to save their land. Over Fossey's objections, they helped found the Mountain Gorilla Project. The MGP was designed to educate Rwandans about the gorillas and about the importance of conservation, while at the same time establishing an ecotourism project - one of the first anywhere in a rainforest - to bring desperately needed revenue to Rwanda. Weber and Vedder describe their experiences getting to know entire families of gorillas, from powerful silverback patriarchs to helpless newborn infants. They tell us about the gorillas they recognised and came to know as individuals, stories both tragic and joyful. They describe a landscape that was heaven one day, green hell the next. And they tell of their discovery of the terrible and mysterious events surrounding Fossey's murder.
They explain that the key to saving the mountain gorillas was helping the people of Rwanda--even in the face of a horrendous civil war--to share in the benefits of conservation.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 215 x 140 x 30 mm
"The pages of this book are filled with adventure and heroism, tragedy and joy." -- Jane Goodall Author of In the Shadow of Man
"In the Kingdom of Gorillas
is inspiring [and] quietly optimistic." -- Natalie Angier The New York Times
"Excellent...a clear, moving account...ultimately optimistic." -- Robert Sapolsky, author of A Primate's Memoir
An NPR Science Friday
Best Science Book of 2001 Selection
A Toronto Globe and Mail
Top Science and Nature Choice for 2001
"The best book ever written for those who want to understand not only the glory of Africa's wildlife but also the setting for that glory.... Bill Weber and Amy Vedder are two remarkable human beings; the gorillas were lucky to find them, and you are, too." -- Bill McKibben Author of The End of Nature
"A vivid portrait...a gripping read." -- Steven Austed Natural History
"As a primer for the uncomfortable reality that lies ahead, every starry-eyed would-be conservationist should read this book...Its range is immense."
--Times of London Literary Supplement
"The authors convey a clear and vivid affection for their research subjects and an abiding fascination with their behavior...entertaining reading."
--The Washington Post Book World