CJ Gets Ready For A Pool Party

CJ Gets Ready For A Pool Party

Aside from a few documented wild families, most chimpanzees are afraid of water, a biological response due to their already highly developed arboreal traveling abilities. This behavior is perpetuated by the continuation of a fear culture among chimpanzees: if everyone around you were afraid of water, you would learn to be, too. Recent studies suggest that non-human apes can learn to swim and it is not a physiological lack, as once thought, that keeps them from going for a dip. This afternoon, CJ didn’t need a pool to get in that summer fun, pool party spirit! I watched as she inspected an article of clothing, pulled the swimsuit up and over her head, now embellished with bright blue flowers. This decorated chimp must have had that special someone in mind because when Håkon, a fellow intern, emerged from the kitchen, she opened her mouth wide and shook her head back and forth, a classic flirt display. CJ, a sensitive chimp, retreated above us when we started to make a fuss about her new look.

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Chloe C., Intern