Friday, June 22, 2007

Monkeys Roam Free

A little bird sent me this tale of monkeys. It reminds me of monkeys I've seen at zoos:
  • When I was four, we moved to Kenya. Early in our stay, we went to the Nairobi zoo.* As we walked along the main path, a band of monkeys scurried over a fence and across directly in front of us, then over another fence and away.** What a zoo. (Hah!)
  • I once saw a large gorilla chew up a banana, press his face against the glass directly opposite a small girl, and schmoodge the banana out in a nasty chewed up pancake. It seemed like a remarkably pissy thing to do.
  • In college, a group of us took a day trip to the National Zoo. On the brightly colored map was a picture of "Monkey Hill". That sounded good. We excitedly made our way. When we arrived, we found a raggedy mound with a couple of forlorn monkeys intently picking each others asses. Cotton candy couldn't mask the bitter taste of disappointment
Monkeys (and apes) seem like trouble.

* As a four-year-old, I was surprised to learn that tigers don't live in Africa. Then we went to the zoo. There was a tiger there. I was confused.

** Later in Kenya, I saw plenty of wild monkeys (I once had an inadvertent alpha-staredown with a large male baboon), but that first encounter made a strong impression.


  1. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Why do I think that the place in question was in fact called Monkey Island?

    The Monkey Hill/Island photo needs to be unearthed!

  2. It's possible. We have a Monkey Hill here at the N.O. zoo (that's not the least bit sordid or forlorn), and my brain may have jumblized them.

  3. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Once I saw a large monkey galloping down the shoulder of Connecticut Avenue in DC. It was about 11 pm.

  4. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Zena is right - it's Monkey Island. Or it was. These days the National Zoo is in a constant frenzy of panda-driven construction and renovation, and Monkey Island is now Lemur Island. In addition, you can visit Gibbon Ridge, Gorilla Grove, etc. Essentially, the monkey types have been segregated and each assigned to an exclusive gated monkey community within the zoo. I think it's patterned after the Northern Virginia suburbs.

  5. Anonymous8:07 PM

    Monkey Island - yay! I have a copy of the photo, I'll get my husband to put it on his webblog.