We play clips from interviews with two animal scientists. First Dian Fossey, recorded in 1982. She talks about learning how to talk to gorillas. Next, Jane Goodall reflects on over 30 years in the company of one community of chimpanzees in the wilds of Tanzania.
Canadian writer and naturalist Farley Mowat. Mowat has written widely on nature and wildlife and championed the cause of harp seals, whales, wolves, Eskimos. His books include A Whale for the Killing, The Boat Who Wouldn't Float and Never Cry Wolf. His latest book, Woman in the Mists, is the story of Dian Fossey, the American woman who studied and lived with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Africa. Fossey was murdered at her remote base camp in 1985. (This is the first part of a two-part interview with Mowat.) (Contains portion of Dian Fossey interview; May 12, 1982).
New Yorker staff writer Alex Shoumatoff has a new book of essays called African Madness, about his travels throughout the continent. He joins Fresh Air to talk about the brutal reign of Emperor Bokassa in the Central African Republic, Dian Fossey's blind spots regarding the human populations near gorilla habitats, and the spread of AIDS.