cover image Into Africa

Into Africa

Craig Packer. University of Chicago Press, $24.95 (292pp) ISBN 978-0-226-64429-5

The author, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the Univ. of Minnesota, gives a vivid, day-by-day view of field biologists at work. In fall 1991 Packer spent seven weeks in Tanzania orienting new assistants to lion research, helping a doctoral student collect fecal samples from lions and baboons and retrieving files from Jane Goodall's house. Twenty years earlier, he had worked with Goodall at Gombe; later, with his wife, Anne Pusey, he studied lions in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Here, he explores the social lives of animals and the threats to their survival. He also tells of coping with vehicle breakdowns, physical exhaustion, personality conflicts and political upheavals. In the tradition of Jane Goodall and George Schaller, Packer has written an engaging account of his African experience. (Oct.)