The Wauchula Woods Accord: Toward a New Understanding of Animals
WHILE TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY to report on the conditions in which captive chimpanzees in America live, Charles Siebert visited a retirement home for former ape movie stars and circus entertainers in Wauchula, Florida, known as the Center for Great Apes. There Siebert encountered Roger, a twenty-eight-year-old former Ringling Bros. star who not only preferred the company of people to that of his fellow chimps but seemed utterly convinced that he knew the author from some other time and place.
"Mostly I was struck by Roger's stare," writes Siebert, "his deep-set hazel eyes peering out at me with what, to my deep discomfort, I'd soon realize is their unchanging expression. It is a beguiling mix of amazement and apprehension, the look, as I've often thought of it since, of a being stranded between his former self and the one we humans have long been suggesting to him. A sort of hybrid of a chimp and a person. A veritable 'humanzee.'"
Haunted by Roger's demeanor, Siebert promptly moved into a cottage on the grounds of the Center for Great Apes, spending day after day with Roger, trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious connection between them. And then late one night, awakened by the cries of chimpanzees, a sleepless and troubled Siebert suddenly began to conjure a secret, predawn encounter with his new cross-species confidant, an apparently one-sided conversation that, in fact, takes us to the very heart of the author's relationship with Roger and of our relationship with our own captive primal selves.
The result is The Wauchula Woods Accord, a strikingly written, wide-ranging physical and metaphysical foray out along the increasingly fraught frontier between humans and animals; a journey that encompasses many of the author's encounters with chimpanzees and other animals, as well as the latest scientific discoveries that underscore our intimate biological bonds not only with our nearest kin but with far more remoteseeming life-forms.
By journey's end, the reader arrives at a deeper understanding both of Roger and of our numerous other animal selves, a recognition -- an accord -- that carries a new sense of responsibility for how we view and treat all animals, including ourselves.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
a.m. Roger Acholi animal Antelope County areaway baby bonobo brain brieﬂy Butch cage captive caregivers Carson Center Carter Cheeta Chimp Haven chimpanzee Chipper Connie Casey Coulston’s creatures decided door Dr.Temerlin early elephants enclosure Erector set eyes facility family’s ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁlled ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁngers ﬁrst ﬁve ﬁxed former hand head herd human humanzee inside Jane jungle Kazinga Channel Knuckles Kyambura life’s Lion Country Safari living look Lord’s Resistance Army Lucy Lucy’s Metaphysics of Apes Mike Casey morning Nelson neuronal never night Noon ofﬁce Oliver’s once orangutan Park Patti Ragan primate pulled recent retirement Ripley Ripley’s roadside zoo safari Savanahland Save the Chimps screams seemed side Sioux City sitting sleeping soon species spindle cells staring started story Temerlin things told tree trying turned Uganda Wauchula who’d wild world’s Zoo Nebraska