By 1947, George Vierheller had already been director of the Saint Louis Zoo for nearly 20 years and felt at ease with his wards. As you can see, he had a certain laissez-faire approach to monkey business. Here, we find Tommy and Cookie taking issue with who really is who at the zoo, while George takes a cigar break. The zoo's website quotes Vierheller as such: Shortly after I became a zoo man, a friend of mine advised me: "George, don't merely sit in the chair and listen to it squeak."
So George became a hands-on boss.
You’ll note that he went ape over gorillas as well.
Even in the last year of his position at the zoo in 1962, Vierheller was still making friends and sharing vices.
A bronze statue of him was commissioned that same year, representing the love he shared with the animals.
Blah. Everything tastes like cardboard, which is to say, almost nothing. The unfortunate thing is that sometimes, you’ll get an inkling of salt or of sour, but without context of other flavors, it’s just a nasty taste on your tongue. So you look like mopey Barbara here, a four-year-old hybrid gibbon, back in September of 1948, when this National Geographic image came out.
You might hate on zoos, but Barbara’s mother decided she wasn’t too keen on her offspring and refused to feed her. So without the keeper to spoon feed her, she would have certainly perished. Like a human, she sucked her thumb and played with a rattle. And I imagine she took that bottle there as well.
“No monkeying with this price?” Watch out there, Peggy Paige! While you were busy making clothing for folks who were still dealing with the fallout of WWII, using your taxes to support countries ravaged by war and fascism, trying to bring a bit of merriment to the widows and families of the millions of dead military heroes with a colorful printed frock, you forgot to prioritize the most important thing: never ever use a animal-related verb because it makes PETA petulant. Oh, is THAT where they got their name from? I won’t share the list that PETA posted this week, as it’s too ridonkulous to perpetuate. Suffice to say that if you ever told anyone they were hogging the mashed potatoes, you unjustly used an offensive slur, and there’s a good chance you’re a white supremacist. PETA thinks animals have been secretly becoming fluent in human language, solely to learn to interpret metaphors as hate speech and consequently be offended. Sorry, animals don’t have time for that, especially fat, lazy pigs. Yeah, I said it. I’d call PETA batship crazy but that might force them into the fetal position. Guess I’ll just say they’re full of guano.
And for anyone who’d like to hear a more nuanced perspective, feel free to check out JP.
No doubt about it. Orangutans are flexible. Even the wee ones.
And though they are stronger than humans (especially in their arms), they are not invincible.
Laid up on the table, this orangutan looks amazingly human, while vet staff takes out air rifle pellets in his body put there by Sumatran villagers. However, let’s remember that while humans and apes are 97% genetically identical, humans and bananas are 60% genetically identical.
Check out the cheek pads on this Bornean orangutan.
Pretty intimidating, no? But not all orangutans are this serious. These residents of the Rio Zoo enjoyed a Christmas basket of fruit.
Did I mention they like fruit?
I’ll leave you with these fun .gifs, all from giphy.com.
Imposing, grand, primitive, huge…yet with human eyes and expressions, enormous black fingers delicately and expertly stripping away thorns from vegetation, possibly ignoring you altogether or looking you straight in the eye. Respect and awe is given, from human to ape.
These are the words my aunt wrote of her trip to Rwanda earlier this month, in which she was able to witness some of the last remaining mountain gorillas on the planet.
“A silverback gorilla is the mature, experienced male leader of a group of mountain gorillas in the wild. Named for the silver saddles across his back, the silverback is responsible for the safety of his group. A group of gorillas, also called a troop, can contain from 5 to 30 gorillas. The silverback decides where the troop travels, where it forages for food, where it will rest and where it will sleep at night.” (http://animals.mom.me)
I thought these images she and her husband captured were too awesome not to share with my readers!