Humans have a lot in common with great apes, from our curiosity to our problem-solving skills. No one understands this connection better than award-winning wildlife photographer and filmmaker Gerry Ellis, whose multimedia project “Apes Like Us” explores the myths, history and issues we share with all great apes.
Ellis will share his work at the first Oregon Zoo Pub Talk of the season, presented by Pro Photo Supply and Lumix, on Oct. 18 in the zoo’s Cascade Crest Ballroom.
Created while filming across Equatorial Africa and Borneo, “Apes Like Us” journeys through remote rainforests and heartwarming orphan sanctuaries to explore the myths, history and issues we share with all great apes, and the people and organizations trying to save them. It is an entertaining, intelligent, humorous look at apes — gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and humans alike.
“Great Apes are disappearing from the wild at an alarming rate,” said Ellis in his description of the project. “One of our goals with ‘Apes Like Us’ is to tell their story and the story of the amazing people around the world who are trying, often against incredible odds, to rescue and save apes.”
Ellis has witnessed the rapid loss of global biodiversity and its impact on human and non-human lives firsthand. He began filming apes at Gombe Stream with Jane Goodall in 1990, and he has published works with National Geographic, BBC Wildlife and many more.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at oregonzoo.org/talks.
The Oregon Zoo Pub Talks series, presented by Pro Photo Supply, offers a chance to hear from conservation experts in a casual setting. Each month a conservation, animal care or wildlife science professional will share their knowledge and experience saving animals across the planet, from the forests of Borneo to the skies of the Pacific Northwest.
Pub Talks continue through the spring with the following presentations:
Wednesday, Nov. 14: Recovery of a Flying Giant
Travis Koons, who oversees the Oregon Zoo’s bird area, and Leland Brown, non-lead hunting education coordinator, will discuss the zoo’s work in bringing the critically endangered California condor back from the brink of extinction and eliminating threats it faces in the wild.
Thursday, Jan. 17: Polar Opposites, Shared Challenges
Oregon Zoo director Don Moore and Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo’s marine life area, will discuss the similar conservation challenges affecting polar bears and penguins.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: An Evening with Barbara Heidenreich
Animal behavior specialist Barbara Heidenreich has trained thousands of animals, from rats to rhinos. She works with zoos, universities, veterinary professionals, pet owners and conservationists around the world to help foster the human-animal bond.
Tuesday, March 19: Protecting Endangered Painted Dogs
Greg Rasmussen, founder of the Painted Dog Research Trust, talks about his work in Zimbabwe training the next generation of conservationists and using scientific data to help save African painted dogs.
Tuesday, April 16: Understanding Elephants and Peoples’ Perspectives
Shermin de Silva, director of the Uda Walawe Elephant Research Project, shares her experiences studying the shy Asian elephants of Sri Lanka and the people who live alongside them.