A Dark Place in the Jungle

Front Cover
Algonquin Books, 1999 - Nature - 269 pages
1 Review
In A Dark Place in the Jungle, writer Linda Spalding travels to Borneo's threatened jungles on the trail of orangutan researcher Birute galdikas. What she finds is an unholy mix of foreign scientists, government workers, tourists, loggers, descendants of Dayak headhunters, Javanese gold miners, and half-tame orangutans.

Galdikas, along with Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall. Formed the famed trio of "angels" Louis Leakey encouraged to study great apes in the wild In 1971, she went into the jungle to study orangutans and decades later emerged with a rundown empire crumbling around her. Along the way, as poachers and timber barons slaughtered orangutans by the hundreds, Galdikas evolved into Ibu, the great mother of orphan orangutans, blurring the line between ape and human, tourist and scientist, Eden and everything else. To the orangutans, this was perhaps the cruelest blow of all.

Spalding's quest takes her from the offices of Galdika's foundation in Los Angeles to the crocodile-infested Sekonyer River in Borneo, where she confronts the sad, corrupting failure of a woman trying desperately to mother a species to survival; the dangers and temptations of ecotourism; and the arrogance of the human inclination to alter the things we set out to save.

Here is a book that shows us no paradise is safe from the machinations of man, and no one immune to temptation.

  

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A dark place in the jungle

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Novelist Spalding (The Paper Wife, Ecco, 1996) describes how a suggestion from a publisher sent her off on an adventure, ostensively to discover the truth about a mysterious woman studying orangutans ... Read full review

Review: A Dark Place in the Jungle: Following Leakey's Last Angel Into Borneo

User Review  - Mark Mills - Goodreads

The examination into the world of orangutan preservation and the role of Birute Galdikas is thought-provoking even though I learned more about the author herself than I really wanted to. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Picking and Saving
1
How to Get There from Here
17
Blue Guides
29
Garuda
35
Fruit Stares
44
A Third Station
60
The Good Doctors
70
River of Precious Stones
85
Second Sight
154
Life and Death at Camp Leakey
165
Riska
173
Pak Herry
181
Mr Ralph
187
Loyalty
199
Barn Light and Betel Nut
204
Jakarta
222

Man of the Forest
91
The Forest for the Trees
100
Wild Thing
106
Gistok Holds the Key
121
Another Island
129
Making Advances
137
A View from the Trees
144
The Good Life
228
Global Positioning
239
Domestics
248
EPILOGUE
259
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
267
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Linda Spalding is a Canadian novelist & editor of "Brick." She met Riska Orpa Sari, author of "Riska: Memories of a Dayak Girlhood," in Borneo while doing research for her acclaimed work of nonfiction, "A Dark Place in the Jungle.

Bibliographic information