Air Date: Week of June 20, 2003
CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood and coming up: The greening of Tony Soprano. But first:
[MUSIC: Andrew Vasquez “Through My Eyes” I am Walking: New Native Music Narada (1995)]
CURWOOD: The twisted sinews of the acacia trees reach up and flatten themselves against a clear African sky. Down below, a troop of baboons - tails arched like flags - patrol the copse of trees, and then slowly move out across the Savannah. Huge confident males swivel their long, naked muzzles in my direction. These are not cuddly monkeys. .
My guide tells me that even the leopards are reluctant to take on an adult male baboon. Brains help, along with the brawn. Baboons walk on all fours but this largest of all monkeys is a not too distant cousin of ours. Behind bars at the zoo the baboon has such little grandeur. But in the wild, this troop acts with purpose and dignity and I’m reminded of the evolution of my own species. Baboons can make us feel uncomfortable because they look and sometimes act like in ways that threaten the logic of our self-appointed exalted status.
But on this day, the smart, knowing way they move through this territory fills me with humility. There are some things I know well, but little of my knowledge involves the land the way these creatures know it. I do know that by coming here I am somehow wiser.
You too, can learn the ways of the African wilds, if you win our Ultimate African Safari. The end of June is the deadline to take a chance to have heritageafrica.com bring you to some of Africa’s wildest places, such as Kruger and the Serengeti. To enter the contest - go to livingonearth.org. That’s livingonearth.org for the trip of a lifetime.
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