October 13, 2016
Great Apes of Budongo, Part 2
- as seen by -Nina Holbrook
Sulking. Munching figs but clearly, absolutely, sulking.
It turns out chimpanzees really don’t appreciate getting soaked, I don’t know why this surprised me because who does? The chimps reacted just as any of us would to being woken up by a downpour with only limited leafy shelter to be found. This is why our guide was so nervous that we wouldn’t have any luck on our trek – when it’s that rainy, the chimps don’t carry on, play, cavort, or call out to other chimp groups. They just sit high up and quietly sulk.
A ray of sun poked through, and a great frolicking broke out. One, then two, then three, and I couldn’t keep up as they swung down bending saplings along the way to the forest floor. They hollered at each other trotting off on foot –sometimes just 20 feet away from our group.
As they passed by me, I thought about my many incredible colleagues who had done research on similar chimp groups – some even in this same forest – probably sulking a bit with them under the warm torrential Ugandan rains. Their findings help the Wildlife Conservation Society protect such amazing creatures and their habitats across Africa.
Read Part 1 of Great Apes of Budongo.