Saturday, December 17, 2005

Monkey See …: "

Just in time for King Kong:

Natasha, the 5-year-old macaque pictured on the left, was in critical condition two summers ago at the Safari Park zoo in Israel for severe stomach flu.

I was sure that she was going to die. She could hardly breathe and her heart was not functioning properly.

Igal Horowitz, veterinarian

She recovered, however, and upon leaving the clinic began walking upright exclusively. Macaques and other primates are known to do this on occasion, but it would seem Natasha swore off quadrupedal movement altogether. Perhaps simplifying her life in retrospect after a near-death experience?

Oliver the ‘humanzee’, on the right, is a chimpanzee, famous in the 1970s, who also favored walking upright. He used and flushed a toilet, mixed drinks, and enjoyed watching television, drinking coffee, beer, and his favorite cocktail, Seven-Up and whiskey. He was acquired as a baby from the Congo and sold to animal trainers Frank and Janet Burger where he worked in the circus.

According to media accounts, Oliver had never been accepted by Burger’s other chimps and could not be trained to perform with them in their stage act. Instead, he preferred to walk on his hind legs, sit crosslegged on a chair, and help Burger’s wife, Janet, with the chores around the house. Oliver also made it clear that he fancied her. Not surprisingly, Janet issued her husband with an adamant proclamation concerning her pesky paramour: ‘I’m not putting up with this. He’s going or I’m going.’ So Oliver went […]

Fortean Times

He passed from owner to owner, being exhibited in various capacities, and was eventually sold to Buckshire Corporation, a labratory that used animals for scientific and cosmetic testing. Although he was never used in experiements, he was kept in a 5x7′ cage for seven years, to the point where his muscles atrophied and trembled from lack of activity. Eventually Oliver was given to Primarily Primates, a sanctuary where he now lives in a spacious, open-air cage. In 1996 his DNA was tested to reveal 48 chromosomes like all other chimpanzees, despite previous claims that he only had 47. Humans have 46.


(Via Centripetal Notion.)