Sunday, March 02, 2008

chimp eden.

there's a show i've been watching on Animal Planet called Escape To Chimp Eden. it's a really great show about a guy, Eugene Cussons, who works to rescue chimps that are being abused by humans all over Africa. chimps in Africa are used for meat and sold as pets, its really sad to see, but reassuring to know there are people like Eugen and the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden that are working to stop this abuse. after the chimps are rescued they are taken to South Africa where the sanctuary is located. Eugene works with the chimps to rehabilitate them to one day be returned to the wild in the best cases. most of these chimps were born and raised in a small cage, too small for their size. they need to learn how to become chimps again. many of these chimps have severe psychological problems and sometimes are distrustful of humans. its really great to see how the chimps learn and form connections with Eugene and the other keepers.

i mention this because i've become increasingly interested in primatology, the study of primates, lately. i've always been interested in behavior, and seeing how ape behavior so closely resembles our behavior and can show us how we may have evolved to where we are now. when i see this type of show, i feel an instant need to be doing this type of thing. i've felt the need to go to Africa for a while now, hopefully i will be able to do study abroad either in Kenya or Uganda next summer. unfortunately conflicts in Kenya make it unlikely that i will be able to go there even in the next year. i would love to be able to go to the sanctuary in South Africa to do the volunteer program, and i would be equally happy to adopt a chimp for a year. i think for my birthday that is what i will ask for.

i was also thinking about doing the Peace Corps after college. i think my degree in zoology would help me be able to work with people to teach them the importance of conserving their environment in Africa or South America or anywhere really. what i really want to do is just travel and try to make a difference, which i realize sounds to cheesy and cliche, but its just what i feel i need to do. i want to work in zoos to try to make them more of a natural area for animals, and try to keep animal populations that are decreasing throughout the world alive, even if it is in a zoo.

i want to do so many things, but i need to just focus on one thing at a time. i need to try to get involved in something, i need to start somewhere. i've been playing with the idea of volunteering at Binder Park Zoo this summer, but i'm not sure if i will have the time to fully commit to it.

well, this is the end of my i-need-to-make-a-change-in-the-world post. now enjoy a picture of Cozy, a chimp at Chimp Eden, he's probably my fave.

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