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Chimpanzees fascinate people for many reasons. We are struck by the apes' resemblance to humanity, as seen in their use of tools and their complex social lives, and we are moved by the threats that human activity poses to them. Our awareness of our closest living relatives testifies to the efforts of the remarkable people who study these creatures and work to protect them. What motivates someone to dedicate their lives to chimpanzees? How does that reflect on our own species?
This book brings together a range of chimpanzee experts who tell powerful personal stories about their lives and careers. It features some of the world's preeminent primatologists-including Jane Goodall and Frans de Waal-as well as representatives of a new generation from varied backgrounds. In addition to field scientists, the book features anthropologists, biologists, psychologists, veterinarians, conservationists, and the director of a chimpanzee sanctuary. Some grew up in the English countryside, others in villages in Congo; some first encountered chimpanzees in a zoo, others in the forests surrounding their homes. All are united by a common purpose: to study and understand chimpanzees in order to protect them in the wild and care for them in zoos and sanctuaries. Contributors share what inspired them, what shaped their career choices, and what motivates them to strive for solutions to the many challenges that chimpanzees face today.