From the Desk of Linda Tellington-Jones

Posts tagged ‘Zambia Chimpanzees’

My 1990 Zambia Chimpanzee Chronicles, Part IV

Impressions:

Clumps of chimps falling out of the trees following the crack of overloaded branches. The loud rustle of leaves as the chimps break off fruit. And behind the anthill, Harriet has been grunting, playing patticake, tickling, teasing, playing, and wrestling with Tober for over 30 minutes.

The sun is shifting and it’s time to move my towel another 2 feet around the tree. Uh, Oh, Chimp attack! Sandy comes up and starts playing under my towel. I’ve taken my socks and shoes off and I quickly stuff them under the towel. But Tobra rushes up and pushes Sandy away, grabbing a sock in the melee and off he triumphantly tears.

Sock tag, sock tag, off they run, up and down the trees, slapping the ground, teasing, leaping onto a branch which comes crackling down and whomp!, a chimp thumps onto the ground, leaps up and gallops off.

After ten minutes or so, the sock, stretched, chewed and slightly the worse for wear, drops out of a tree into Harriet’s territory. Got it!

I give up, pen and journal go into my pack, and I deposit it in the safe hands of Patrick. No chimp dares to take it from him. And I join Harriet in chimp wrestling. Tara has taught Harriet how to play. By gently taking Harriet’s hand in her mouth, Harriet has learned to trust her. They somersault roll, patticake, and wrestle. Sandy soon joins her and it’s two to one for the chimps.

Journaling with chimps in ZambiaI observe for a bit. It looks like too much fun to pass up, so I get into the act. Now it’s two chimps to two humans. Sandy and Tara leap on us, somersault and land upside down in our laps. I swing Sandy around by an arm and a leg and he can’t get enough. Harriet has Torah hanging by the feet and swinging. What a barrel of monkeys!

I spend a good 30 minutes carefully grooming Torah. He flattens out his belly, head resting on his arms, and loves every second of the attention. When he was playing earlier he would close his eyes, race toward me and somersault into my lap.

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