Compellingly written by the woman the New York Times exclaims has "the spirit of a female Indiana Jones," this utterly entertaining page-turner tells the incredible story of the NFL cheerleader turned world-renowned primatologist. Starting with her very sheltered childhood (her parents would not allow her to join the Girl Scouts because they thought it was too dangerous) up to her death-defying adventures around the globe and landmark discovery of a new species of lemur, Mireya Mayor takes readers on a sometimes hair-raising, frequently humorous, always wild journey through her life. From first page to last, the charismatic author demonstrates her unrelenting determination, incredible sense of adventure, and, above all, her fierce love of animals.
Mireya Mayor is a 2007 Emerging Explorer, former correspondent for Ultimate Explorer, and host of the upcoming series Wild Nights on NAT GEO WILD! Channel. Her documentary on lowland mountain gorillas aired on NAT GEO WILD! in April 2010. She is a frequent guest lecturer for the NG Live! Lecture series, regularly appears on TV on MSNBC, CNN, and NBC's Today, and has been featured in People, Marie Claire, Latina, National Geographic Adventure, Elle, The New York Times, and Miami Herald.
Deep in the heart of darkness in the lush rain forest of the Congo, the gorillas were dozing under the rays of morning sun that pierced the dense vegetation, exuding their infectious, albeit misleading, aura of calm. I, on the other hand, was swatting at sweat bees trying to make their way into my ears and up my nose. These bees are attracted to salt in human sweat, and although their sting is almost painless, their constant presence is a total pain in the butt.
Especially when one is trying to observe gorillas and share in their Zen-like state. Ironically, the more I waved my hands to get rid of the annoying creatures, the more I sweated and added to my appeal. By the dozens, they clustered on my arms and legs and dive-bombed into my eyes. What satisfaction it gave me to crush them. While digging a bee out of my eye, I heard a noise behind me. Like most primates, gorillas are usually heard before they are seen. Not having a mirror, I was using the lens of my camera to pick sweat bees out of my pupils. Suddenly, reflected behind me was a gorgeous, 400-pound silverback. As if responding to an inaudible command, the gorillas had stopped dozing and now surrounded me. This wasn’t good. The females let out a piercing shriek. There were only three of them, but it sounded like a dozen or more. Frozen, our guide whispered to me to cower and pretend to eat leaves. Why pretend? I ingested several.
Evidently feeling threatened, the females prodded the silverback to charge. So like a husband, at first he pretended not to hear, but the females began running at us. Our only weapon a ballpoint pen, I quickly ate more leaves. The silverback joined in the charge. Just inches from us they all stopped and began furiously slapping the ground.
Purchased for college daughter for a little inspiration. Great for giving younger generation a boot of reality in there spoiled rear ends. I read the book myself and as a man I can honestly say I learned a few things.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend