In the eighties and nineties, I became way interested in apes. Chimpanzees, Gorillas and Orangutans were the staple of my reading. I moved onto Gibbons and monkeys later. I think I became so captivated because apes have their own world. The women who observed them, (Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas) made their lives stories that I could relate to.
Who hasn't known a Mike, for instance, the small chimp who used his brains to become top banana? It was this slant on their lives which made me see that the whole world is a habitat for something.
Apes and monkeys mostly lived in trees. Branches were pathways of their lives. They probably knew every twig and leaf of their environment. To me, trees were something for shade or something to look at and watch. To them, it was their world. They conducted their business up there and came down to the ground sometimes.
I only say that because all this time later I'm reading that Jane Goodall's community of chimps will be extinct in twenty years and it makes me sad that all those personalities will be lost. Most people just say, 'well, it's just an animal' but it is more, it's part of all. I think Jane Goodall's observations of baby rearing among chimps may well have proved that babies do better the more attention they get.
There's also the idea that they may evolve into something else and they should have the chance to do so. That's nature and natural. So here's hoping that soon people will want to have apes and monkeys alive and pursuing their interests. Here's wishing that something can be done about the vanishing forests and animal lives.
Before that pathways all fall silent.