WAR AND KIDNAPPING, killing and cannibalism: How inappropriate—how jarring—those words seemed as I stood in a tree's shade looking out across the glinting waters of Lake Tanganyika.
Behind me, where the westering sun had turned the tall grass into a sea of gold, a large group of chimpanzees was feeding. The scene was utterly peaceful, as peaceful as it was on a day 17 years earlier when I had first set foot in what is today Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park.
Yet now I had new knowledge—now I knew that there, among those dark mountains across the lake in Zaire, moved terrorist forces, armed men who had raided Gombe in the night and left haunting fear behind. And I knew that some of our chimpanzees, so gentle for the most part, could on occasion become savage killers, ruthless cannibals, and that they had their own form of primitive warfare.