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Kindred Beings: What Seventy-Three Chimpanzees Taught Me About Life, Love, and Connection Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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Sheri Speede chose to make a difference in the lives of Jacky, Nama, Dorothy, and dozens of other apes, which says as much about Sheri’s commitment as the chimpanzees’ inner strength. Sheri ultimately emerged triumphant, perhaps for one simple reason: humanity is not restricted to human beings. (Douglas Cress, program coordinator of Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP))
In Cameroon, Dr. Sheri Speede has enabled law enforcement to fight wildlife trafficking by establishing an excellent forest sanctuary where rescued chimpanzees get care and love. Without facilities like hers, animals would suffer lives of abuse or move on in the sordid international trade. Read this book! (Dr. Shirley McGreal, founder of the International Primate Protection League)
Sheri Speede’s powerful story shows the reader the broad range of personalities seen in chimpanzees, with complex emotional needs, a rich social fabric, and self-awareness. It opens our eyes to the reality that all animals have emotions, and it pleads for an end to animal abuse. (Marilyn Kroplick, M.D., president of IDA-Africa)
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Using every ounce of her energy and wits, Dr. Speede somehow managed to surmount the many obstacles in her path..including a lack of building materials, adequate roads, skilled labor..not to mention the inevitable culture clashes that often made her unpopular with the locals, to say the least!
Armed with few resources other than her strong will and sheer determination to rescue five captive chimps cruelly kept as 'tourist attractions', the author had to dig deep into her soul to find the strength and means to succeed. Over the course of those first bumpy years, she managed to build trusting relationships with local leaders which provided an essential support team for the sanctuary benefiting both the chimps and the villagers as well.
Clearly, Sheri Speede is one of Margaret Mead's "thoughtful, committed citizens (who) can change the world". Read this book now and be filled with inspiration!
As a child who knew that she always wanted to grow up and advocate for animals in some way, she took the traditional path at first by choosing a veterinary career. But soon after beginning her veterinary career she was moved by the plight of three adult captive chimpanzees on display in three small cages located on the back side of the Atlantic Beach Hotel. Captured as infants by poachers they had been in captivity most of their lives. Her sadness at the smallness of their lives haunted her and she was determined to see them released from their torment.
Though it took her some time to actually fulfill the promise she made to them to free them, she was eventually successful and established her sanctuary in the Mbargue forest. In this book, we see the development of Dr. Speede's personal story alongside the emotionally complex stories of the chimps she befriended. We come to know and love these "kindred beings" just as she does. When one of the rescued chimps (Dorothy) dies from old age at the sanctuary, we mourn too. The 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.Read more ›
The poor chimpanzees whose lives were saved by Sheri spent their lives suffering, chained and/or confined and neglected in small cages until Sheri gave them a second chance at life. At the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, these chimpanzees now have the opportunity to be chimpanzees again, to live in social groups, have friends, make choices, and share in the joy of friendship and family. Sheri's story about funding, establishing, and keeping her sanctuary up and running is extraordinary! You will fall deeply in love with these great apes who find HOME in her sanctuary, especially the beautiful, beloved sweet old Dorothy.
I can't say it better than this review: "Sheri Speede’s powerful story shows the reader the broad range of personalities seen in chimpanzees, with complex emotional needs, a rich social fabric, and self-awareness. It opens our eyes to the reality that all animals have emotions, and it pleads for an end to animal abuse." (Marilyn Kroplick, M.D., president of IDA-Africa)
Please read this touching story. You will not be disappointed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Takes the reader on a remarkable journey, a strong resourceful woman chasing down a dream to improve the lives of Chimps.Published 24 days ago by Kindle Customer
This book is a true gift. It offers a sensitive enlightening account of chimpanzees rescued from miserable circumstances. Read morePublished 2 months ago by susan
I have always been in love with chimps, and really enjoyed this book.Published 2 months ago by TCrosley
Very interesting read! The writer's commitment to saving captive chimps was very inspiring. Enjoyed learning a lot about chimp behaviour.Published 2 months ago by tina
For those who enjoy reading about our close relatives the chimpanzees, you will want to read this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by runner67
This was truly an amazing story about the author's desire to start up a chimpanzee sanctuary. The author is so honest about what drives her, the many difficulties she encounters... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Flamingo Girl
As an animal lover I was impressed with Sheri's desire to save these beautiful creatures and her dedication to do so. Their likeness to human's was so well described. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Berta Hillman
Sheri Speede is a veterinarian who created the Sanga-Young Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon Africa with the financial and emotional support of others who believed in her cause. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kathleen San Martino
Fascinating story, was so interesting how she got involved and awe-inspiring that she was able to see her vision through even with all the financial obstacles and cultural... Read morePublished 2 months ago by kristine