Cress, Doug 1964(?)-

views updated

CRESS, Doug 1964(?)-

PERSONAL: Born c. 1964, in Portland, OR.

ADDRESSES: Office—Great Ape Project, Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center, 721 Northwest 9th Ave., Ste. 280, Portland, OR 97209. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Former journalist for Time, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sports Illustrated, and Associated Press; Great Ape Project, Portland, OR, executive director, 2002–. Secretariat, Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance; trustee, Zambia's Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage.

WRITINGS:

(With Sheila Siddle) In My Family Tree: A Life with Chimpanzees, Grove Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor to numerous magazines and newspapers.

SIDELIGHTS: Wildlife conservationist Doug Cress first started his career as a journalist, working for a number of national publications such as the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated. In the 1990s, however, he became increasingly involved in ape conservation. Cress now serves as the secretariat of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, an association of African ape sanctuaries, and is executive director of the Great Ape Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of great apes in captivity and the wild. He also serves as a trustee of Zambia's Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage.

In 2002 Cress and Sheila Siddle published In My Family Tree: A Life with Chimpanzees. The memoir tells the story of Siddle and her journey from running a cattle ranch in Zambia to building the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage, which would become the largest private primate sanctuary in the world. With no formal knowledge of caring for chimpanzees, Siddle and her husband began to take in injured and abandoned chimps, constructing large enclosures on their property in order to accommodate the growing number of chimpanzees brought to them. The book relates anecdotes about some of the sanctuary's most distinctive residents and describes the difficulties the couple overcame in learning to understand the animals.

In My Family Tree was well received by critics. Many enjoyed the book's vivid descriptions of the individual chimpanzees at the sanctuary. "Always engrossing, Siddle's memoir gives the reader a real feeling for the complex chimps that populate Chimfunshi," commented Booklist contributor Kristine Huntley. Other reviewers found the authors' storytelling abilities important to the flow of the book. Beth Crim concluded in Library Journal that the coauthors offer "many warm and insightful stories of the chimps' intelligence, courage, and personality."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 2002, Kristine Huntley, review of In My Family Tree: A Life with Chimpanzees, p. 1562.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2002, review of In My Family Tree, p. 240.

Kliatt, November 2003, Ann Hart, review of In My Family Tree, p. 40.

Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, July 24, 1996, Filip Bondy, "So You Want to Be in the Olympics," p. 724.

Library Journal, April 1, 2002, Beth Crim, review of In My Family Tree, p. 135.

ONLINE

Great Ape Project Web site, http://www.greatapeproject.org/ (May 31, 2002).

Science in Africa Web site, http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/ (May 31, 2002), Doug Cress, "Chimfunshi Story."

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Web site, http://www.lclark.edu/org/saldf/ (June 20, 2005), "Doug Cress."

WildAfrica.net, http://wildafrica.net/ (May 31, 2002), "Great Ape Project to Sponsor African Sanctuary Workshop."