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To the Best of Our Knowledge: Apes and Humans | [Jim Fleming]

To the Best of Our Knowledge: Apes and Humans

Are humans really unique? Not as much as we think, says renowned primatologist Frans de Waal. So what do our ape cousins - chimps & bonobos - think and feel? Also, the remarkable story of a feral child who lived with monkeys.
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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, truth or fiction? Marina Chapman has the most remarkable story - a 5-year old girl kidnapped and abandoned in the South American jungle, then for years lives only with a troop of monkeys, who teach her how to survive. She's discovered by hunters, who put her to work in a brothel. Eventually, she's rescued and adopted by a Colombian family, and later moves to England, where she marries and raises a family. Marina and her daughter Vanessa James recount this amazing tale.

Next, is Marina Chapman's story true? Telegraph reporter Philip Sherwell traveled to Colombia to check on her remarkable story. He tells us what he discovered there.

Then, Are humans unique - or really not that different from other apes? Primatologist Frans de Waal says chimps & bonobos share many of our traits, including empathy and a sense of fairness. He describes some of his research that challenges assumptions about human exceptionalism.

After that, Bruno Littlemore is a talking chimp - a creature who straddles the world between humans and animals. His creator, novelist Benjamin Hale, describes his fascination with primates and the scientific debates over language.

Following that, in this short excerpt, Jane Goodall talks about her lifelong wish to get inside the mind of a chimpanzee. What's it like to think without words? Does this resemble mystical experience?

Finally, novelist Colin McAdam conjures a fictional world of a childless couple who adopt a rambunctious chimp. Mayhem ensues. We hear excerpts of his novel A Beautiful Truth. [Broadcast Date: June 12, 2013]

(P) and ©2013 Wisconsin Public Radio

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