As the video at the end of this post says, free-living chimpanzees in Africa sometimes perform rain displays. Jane Goodall and Bill Wallauer (two heros of mine) have witnessed these displays at Gombe National Park in Tanzania. We don’t get a lot of dramatic rainstorms here in Cle Elum, but today was an exception. The storm began with a clap of thunder. Based on what Bill Wallauer has written about the displays he’s witnessed, perhaps the initial thunder is what inspired Burrito’s display today.
It made me happy to watch Burrito’s “dance” and to think about how he is still connected in some ways to his long-lost family of the forest.
It also reminded me of the article that Joseph D’Agnese wrote for Discover Magazine more than a decade ago called An Embarrassment of Chimps. That article helped to connect many chimpanzee and human people. J.B. and I were working at the Fauna Foundation when it was written, and it inspired Keith to build Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.
So, I guess today is about connection – to nature, to those who influence us, and to all the circumstances that bring us together.