amongst the chimps


During my stay at Fauna, some of my relationships with the chimps were much more demanding than others. Take my friendship with Chance, who along with Rachel is one of the most disturbed chimpanzees at Fauna. At first, I thought Chance hated my guts. This is because she was always trying to scare me. Whenever I approached her room, or simply walked past it, Chance made this loud puckering sound with her lips and juked her shoulder at me as if she was about to charge. Even though there was thick caging between us, her aggressive feints and angry noises always made me jump. But as I learned more about her personality and her awful childhood, I came to understand that when Chance tried to frighten me, she was actually doing all that she could to reach out to me. Chance was, in fact, desperate for her existence to be acknowledged, and she had been this way since the day she was born.

more from Andrew Westoll at The Walrus here.