I went on down to the Houston zoo…

There are not too many zoos in the US with chimp exhibits, which is disappointing for all of us working on this project…. YouTube is great, but after reading so much about Lucy and her kin, I’d really like to see some of these guys in person. I was recently at the Houston Zoo, where I just missed my chance to meet some of Lucy’s cousins; their new chimp exhibit is set to open December 10. Reading about the preparations for the new arrivals on the zoo’s¬†blog¬†underlined Maurice Temerlin’s dedication and sheer chutzpah in bringing a chimp to live in their family home. There’s also a terrific video of some of the chimps (one named Lucy!) who will eventually inhabit these swank new digs.

I had a nice day at the zoo, despite its chimplessness. Chimps may resemble us more than any other species, but I could identify with lots of the behaviors and postures we saw.

This orangutan, with thumb and forefinger just touching and arm outstretched to rest on knee, looks ready for meditation. Don’t be fooled. This is actually the “looking for a handout” mudra, which I saw performed repeatedly. I see we need to work on aparigraha…


This sunbathing bear has arranged herself in a classic pinup pose.

We saw so many amazing creatures. Mostly I was so awestruck that I forgot to take pictures. Thank goodness I had my wits about me when I met this mandrill in the bathroom.

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