Books by people who have raised apes in their homes


24 Responses to “Books by people who have raised apes in their homes”

  1. Renato Bender says:

    Thank you for the nice reviews! I recommend you “In my family tree” by Sheila Siddle; she began helping a baby chimp and endet up with a huge sanctuary with more than 80 chimps.A lot of funny, and some very tragic stories (like from a women almost killed by one of her chimps). I have also a copy of “Orang-utan” by Barbara Harrison, and “My friends the apes” by Belle J. Benchley, but I did not read them yet.

    I will try to get some of the books you recommend. In the meantime let me know if you have an interesting story about apes interacting with water (this is the topic of my PhD). I am specially interested in apes able to swim or dive (I know, they normally do not able to do this), but also in apes having intensive contact with water, or apes falling in moats, etc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Shocking – Toto “insists” on normal mammal behavior, e.g., sleeping with her parents. It’s a shame that such a natural behavior (in humans and other mammals) continues to be stigmatized.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This girl had a monkey as an older sisteR!!

  4. Gilbert Wham says:

    Jesus, it’s a wonder Maury’s wife wasn’t the first woman to be successfully intergrated into the wild in Africa with a husband that nuts. I’d certainly have been inclined to…

  5. tallpat says:

    Animals Are My Hobby by Gertrude Davies Lintz.

  6. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    What about Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, dammit!

    PS: I went to school with Nim’s human sister…

  7. mdh says:

    …an animal version of the Stockholm Syndrome.

    um, people are animals.

    Maybe more, but at least, animals.

  8. Brainspore says:

    Nothing about how to raise your own children as apes? I was hoping my kids could have the advantage of being the smartest chimps in the jungle.

  9. Maddy says:

    Hey, to be fair to Doc Temerlin — he adopted Lucy. She could be his Soon-Yi …

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well, you might read “Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would be Human” to get a perspective on all these ape-human families. Great list. This book has original research on some of the earliest chimp-human families. And then some!

  11. yatima says:

    One of the coolest Boing Boing posts ever.

    When I was pregnant with my first kid, I found myself reading as much primatology as I could lay my hands on. I think I assumed, correctly as it transpired, that this data would be more objective and applicable than Dr Sears or Babywise :)

  12. Clare Dudman says:

    I mentioned it in a comment to a previous post but there’s also
    LITTLE BROTHER by June Johns.

    I don’t know the author or anything, and read it ages ago but found it interesting.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Where can I get a copy of christine the baby chimp from? Have searched for years as I want to give a copy to my daughter. Sally

  14. Anonymous says:

    I went to a party at the house of Hester Mundis (author of “No He’s Not A Monkey, He’s An Ape And He’s My Son”) in the Catskills, completely unaware of her ape-raising, and wound up having a drink by her nightstand. There I saw many framed photos of various family members, and one framed photo of a large chimp, which I assumed was a joke. When I asked about it, I got the whole story, which was fascinating. She’s a heckuva lady.

  15. MK says:

    This is a subject that has fascinated me for years, starting after I saw incredible photographs by Robin Schwartz in her book Like Us: Primate Portraits. These photos are powerful and amazing and speak to me in volumes about human behavior by showing monkeys and apes entrenched in typical all-American human environments. While there is little text, you should really take a look and add it to your collection. Find a copy here:

  16. Jerril says:

    I recommend checking out “An Ape Came Out Of My Hatbox”, written by a school teacher who ended up raising a young gibbon.

    Yet another case of a woman raising an ape, actually.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Not quite about raising apes, but did anyone notice that Cheeta the Chimp, from the Tarzan TV show, has a ‘memoir’ up for the Booker prize? Might be worth checking out:

  18. Anonymous says:

    In elementary school, I read “Eva” by Peter Dickinson. It’s the story of a young girl whose brain is transplanted into the body of a chimpanzee after an accident.

    Here’s the review from Publisher’s Weekly: “Following a terrible car crash, Eva, 14, awakens from a strange dream and finds herself in a hospital bed. Medical science, in this book’s future setting, has allowed doctors to pull her functioning brain from her crushed body and put it into the able body of a chimpanzee. With the aid of a voice synthesizer, she communicates with others and adjusts to her new body; because her father is a scientist who has always worked among the chimps (who have been crowded by the massive human population out of any semblance of a natural world, and into iron and steel jungles), Eva is comfortable with her new self. She takes on the issue of animal rights, setting up (with the help of others, of course) an elaborate scheme to release chimps back into the last of the wild. Years later, that is where she dies. The story is riveting from the outset, especially as Dickinson details the ways in which Eva’s life is saved, and the progress of her recovery. As the story becomes more political, the author loses sight of some compelling questions he has sewn into the opening pages: Who owns her–the chimp’s owner, her parents, herself? Eva’s human aspect becomes a device that allows her to help other chimps survive, but is otherwise unquestioned. The drama is no less suspenseful for that, but it is less satisfying.”

  19. Marcel says:

    Sometimes I wonder whether the loyalty and affection animals display towards their ‘owners’ and ‘handlers’ isn’t just an animal version of the Stockholm Syndrome.

  20. econobiker says:

    Here is another: A Chimp in the Family by Vince Smith 2004 New York: Marlowe and Co. (orginally published as “Sophie’s Story” London 2003

    And sorry to rain on the parade about a 1/2 year later but Lucy was not successfully reintroduced to Africa. She had to have a full time human trainer to help her integrate and it is believed that she later was shot by poachers or died. She apparently had alot of trouble adjusting to Africa since she didn’t have a clue of it even when joined with several other rescue chimps.

    Reading Tremerlin’s book today is like a horror show and you know he and his wife had to be smoking alot of pot back then too…

  21. Anonymous says:

    Don’t all human parents raise apes as children?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I heard a part of a radio program about Lucy, the Chimp raised by the Timerilns referred to here in the boingboing site. If I understood the radio program correctly, a book has been written more recently about Lucy’s life with the Timerlins and others after the Timerlins, and about Lucy’s eventual return to the wild. I think the author was referred to as Charles Seebert, but I am not sure if that is correct. I have been unable to find this book searching the web. If anyone knows the title and author, please let me know.

  23. TulsaTV says:

    I took a psychology course from Dr. Temerlin in 1972. He did seem to get quite a kick out of telling rude stories. The class was good, though.

    The chimp sign language project with Drs. Fouts and Lemmon was going on at OU at that time. As a student volunteer, I gave Lucy and Booee drills on their repertoire of signs. Dr. Fouts has written a book, “Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees”.

    I recall that Dr. Lemmon wasn’t one to shy away from the explicit story, either.

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