Amanka is a word from one of the languages used by people living in the rural north west of Uganda. It’s a beautiful, rich word that means ‘family’. Yet, in the forests and villages of this part of Uganda – and across much of tropical Africa and Asia – families are at war. In the narrowing margins between forest and farm, human and non-human, there is a growing conflict. A deadly conflict.
The Amanka Book Project has been coordinated by writer, David Blissett and primate curator, Lou Grossfeldt. They celebrate our closest living relatives, by sharing the stories and experiences of the people who are working, fighting, and sometimes risking their lives to save them. The focus is on all ape species (gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee, bonobo and the gibbon family). These are stories of sacrifice and courage and hope; tears and happiness; love and loss. In each chapter, Lou and David speak with people who devote their lives to the conservation and wellbeing of the apes. This includes scientists, researchers, caregivers, vets, filmmakers and conservation advocates. Many of the stories in this book have never been told before and will give readers a direct insight into the day-to-day heartaches, challenges and joys of working with these intelligent, sentient beings.
‘We wrote this book to raise awareness of the plight of our ape family and to share the stories of the unsung heroes who are trying to help them. All contributors have donated to this project and profits from book sales will be donated to various ape conservation and enrichment programs or projects’ - Lou Grossfeldt and David Blissett.