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Almost Human

A Journey into the World of Baboons

With a New Introduction and Epilogue
In 1972, a young graduate student named Shirley Strum traveled to Kenya to study a troop of olive baboons (Papio anubis) nicknamed the Pumphouse Gang. Like our own ancestors, baboons had adapted to life on the African savannah, and Strum hoped that by observing baboon behavior, she could learn something about how early humans might have lived. Soon the baboons had won her heart as well as her mind, and Strum has been working with them ever since.

Vividly written and filled with fascinating insights, Almost Human chronicles the first fifteen years of Strum’s fieldwork with the Pumphouse Gang. From the first paragraph, the reader is drawn along with Strum into the world of the baboons, learning about the tragedies and triumphs of their daily lives—and the lives of the scientists studying them. This edition includes a new introduction and epilogue that place Strum’s research in the context of the current global conservation crisis and tell us what has happened to the Pumphouse Gang since the book was first published.

323 pages | 1 map, 48 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1987

Earth Sciences: General Earth Sciences

Table of Contents

Author’s Note
1. Starting Out
2. Two Newcomers
3. Peggy
4. Changes
5. Issues
6. Starting on the Males
7. The Saga of Sherlock
8. Bo and David
9. Some Solutions
10. Smart Baboons
11. Implications
12. Woes
13. Crop Raiding
14. Humans
15. Searching
16. Desperation—and a Happy Ending
17. Capture and Release
18. Final Moves
19. Freedom
Appendix I: Communication
Appendix II:
Table 1—Peggy: A Baboon Family
Table 2—Peggy: Fifteen Minutes
Table 3—A Field Worker’s Daily

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