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.