Looking Back: Who's Who

Looking Back: Who's Who

As my internship comes to a close and I look back on my first few days here at the sanctuary, I find myself amazed that I couldn’t immediately and unfailingly tell exactly which chimpanzee I was looking at. I mean, how was it even possible that I managed to get Jackson, with his protruding ears and comfortable belly, mixed up with Emma, with her self-embracing and almost dainty features? Their personalities are easily as distinct as those of my human acquaintances, and they all have their own favorite activities, from Jackson’s love of playing chase to Topo resting on a bench in the warm afternoon sun. I wish now that I’d kept notes all through the past weeks, just so I could look back through and say, “there, that was when I finally started being able to recognize Thiele at a distance.” But then, the process of coming to know a person is always that way, and I guess that is the real wonder of it. The fact that there really is not one moment of recognition but many, a flow, which viewed from the end resembles nothing more than a broad blur connecting the many small things together.

Shelby, Intern