[UCP Books]: Wattana: An Orangutan in Paris

“If you have ever wondered how smart and sensitive an ape can be, read Wattana, an engaging account of an orangutan who deserves a biography as much as any human subject has ever done.”
–Ian Tattersall, author of Masters of the Planet

 

Wattana 

An Orangutan in Paris

Chris Herzfeld 
Translated by Oliver Y. and Robert D. Martin

US Publication: April 25, 2016 / International Publication: May 15, 2016
Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-226-16859-3 / $26.00 / £18.00

 

 

Meet Wattana. She likes tea, sews, draws on papers, and she is a self-taught master of tying and untying knots. And, she is an orangutan who lives in the Jardin de Plantes Zoo in Paris. This is her fascinating story.

Offering a uniquely intimate look at the daily lives of captive great apes, Chris Herzfeld uses Wattana’s life to trace the history of orangutans from their first arrival in Europe in 1776 to the inhabitants of the Jardin and other zoos today. She provides a close look at the habits, techniques, and skills of Wattana, who remarkably uses strings, paper rolls, rope, and even pieces of wood to make things. And she thoughtfully explores how apes individually—and often with ingenuity—come to terms with and adapt to their captive environments and caretakers. Through these stories, Wattana sympathetically reveals the extraordinary psychology and distinctive personalities of great apes as well as the interconnections between animal and human lives, especially in zoos.

Chris Herzfeld
is a philosopher of science and an artist. She is a founder of the Great Apes Enrichment Project and the author or coauthor of two other books on primates. She divides her time between Paris; Brussels; and Naples, Florida. Oliver Y. Martin is a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Robert D. Martin is curator emeritus in the Integrative Research Center at the Field Museum, Chicago. Herzfeld is fluent in English and available for interviews. Please contact Carrie Olivia Adams at (773) 702-4216 or coa@press.uchicago.edu

 

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