This morning on the Today Show, which I usually avoid because I don’t really understand the point of the show, was the woman from Connecticut who was attacked by a chimp and lost most of her face and both of her hands. This is a tragic story, and I googled this to learn some more. Apparently the attacked woman has been appearing on many shows lately, and at first I thought this was pure sensationalism, but I now think it’s a good thing.
I don’t believe in keeping wild animals in captivity. Dogs and cats, yes. They have been domesticated. There is no way my dog could live in the wild. She wouldn’t even survive a night in the backyard. But wild animals, no. I don’t go to zoos, have I mentioned that before? It was hard when my children were little. Everyone wanted to go to the zoo on playdates, but I don’t do zoos. The zoo in Washington DC makes me cry. Lions and tigers and bears (and elephants and walruses, etc) don’t belong in Washington DC. I have been to the Animal Kingdom in Disneyworld, and I’m somewhat conflicted about that. The animals seemed to have a lot of room to roam around, and were somewhat free and safe.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I had no idea that chimpanzees could be 200 pounds. After doing a bit of research I see that most don’t get bigger than 150 pounds. Perhaps living in captivity and eating human food has led to obesity of pet chimps, making them even more dangerous.
I don’t understand why someone would want to have a chimpanzee as a pet. Sure they look cute on tv. Sometimes they are dressed up and make that funny monkey noise and eat bananas. But they should not be pets.
Coincidentally, or not, Dr. Jane Goodall was on the Daily Show last Thursday. I have been a fan of hers since I worked at the National Geographic Society back in the 80’s. I admire her work, and now that I see her on TV I admire her even more because she doesn’t seem to think aging is an obstacle to her in any way. She did a chimp greeting ritual with Jon Stewart that was quite funny. But the aging thing is another story.
Dr. Goodall says in the wild chimps don’t bite off other creatures’ faces (not that they don’t get aggressive, she is not saying that). They don’t belong in peoples’ homes. I so admire Dr. Goodall, I would love to be like her. To be involved in important work that other people find educational and useful, to be respected, to work towards a peaceful co-existence between animals, people and the earth, to motivate people for change, and to be moderate, gentle, and graceful. I’m going to go to Amazon right now and buy her book to put on my kindle.