Letters: Thank you, George Schaller

Thank you for featuring George Schaller [“A Voice in the Wilderness,” 2010]. I have been reading his books as basic pre-travel research for eight years. My passion is wildlife — however, as an undergrad at Madison, I could not find my way to a career in basic wildlife research. Of course, after reading The Snow Leopard, I realized that I do not have the physical fortitude required of a wildlife biologist. Schaller’s perseverance in the face of physical and environmental challenges is remarkable. Now I travel to see charismatic megafauna in the wild, supporting the local economies and meeting the local people as I go.

My experience seeing mountain gorillas in Uganda was enriched by first reading Schaller’s The Year of the Gorilla, and my understanding of the Serengeti was enriched by Golden Shadows, Flying Hooves.

Dr. Schaller’s writing is clear and easy to read, even though he is communicating hard science. His systems work helps one appreciate all the fauna in the ecosystem. I am thankful that people like Schaller exist and have helped preserve the wild places that are essential to our humanity.

Ann Swinford ’80

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Published in the Fall 2010 issue

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