Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit

LET'S BRING BACK THE MONKEYS! (A Splendid Follow-Up Letter)



A few days ago, I received the following letter about the Monkey postcards I posted months ago in June...needless to say, I just mailed them off to her as a gift. I'm sure you'll enjoy these excerpts from her mail.

"My Name is Linda, I Would like to know more about the picture Post Cards you have of the St. Louis Zoo St. Louis, Missouri. You Pictured some of my fathers work. The reason I ask is the fact that my father designed and built all the equipment for the shows, and came in to repair cages when needed. It brought back a lot of wonderful memories to see the things my father built in color. I told my children about them. They saw B&W pictures of work in stages. Finished before painting. This gives them the chance to see them in color. My father was a very Talented man. ( design & fabrication ) He was quite a genius.

I felt bad that the blog didn't mentioned the Designer. If you had known him perhaps you would understand why I feel the way I do. He should get credit for his work. He was a wonderful and quite intelligent man. That’s why the zoo contracted him.

When I was 6 to 10 when dad would go to the zoo. He would let me go with him, if I were not in school. Mike would be there doing work with the chimps. I would get to ride the ponies with them. poncho and I were allowed to go for short walks on the zoo grounds hand in hand. It was quite an experience. NOBODY ELSE that I know got to take a chimp for a walk in the park.
There was not one vehicle that I didn't get to take a ride in before they went to the zoo. I have so many fond memories of that time. You know we became good friends with Mike (The trainer, dtdb) and his family. When we would go over to their house mike always had a baby chimp in training. He kept them at home while small and raised them as part of his family. Diaper, Pants & shirt. The one's he was training were treated better than a lot of humans. They were exactly like his children. They sat in a high chair at the table to eat until they were able to set at the table and eat along with the family. Mike loved those chimps as if they were his children.

As for PETA half the time they do not know what they are talking about. Those animals were not mistreated by doing shows. They had more LOVE and ATTENTION than a lot of children get from their parents. Oh how I wish those days had not disappeared. Every one seems to find bad in everything. How much things have changed."

1 comment:

  1. The pieces designed by Linda's father are fantastic. Such a good balance of color and sense of whimsical movement--she's not wrong about his obvious talent.

    I just have to comment on the end of the letter. I have no doubt that the chimps Linda got to know were well treated, but there's more to the story of chimps in show business. Their teeth were generally pulled out as they got bigger, so they couldn't bite people. When they got too big (and chimpanzees do get large, a grown one can be a hundred pounds), they were sold to scientific laboratories.

    Most chimps ended up being taken from the idyllic babyhood described in Linda's letter to being in a small cage with little to no interaction, let alone affection. Experiments, often painful, performed on them. Many were infected with HIV to study that illness.

    Whether this stuff is okay isn't my point--it's that the problem with adorable baby chimps raised as pets or performers is that the chimps grow up, and then the life that's available to them is nothing short of heartbreaking. Not everything was perfect in the past, any more than now, but we can work on fixing things we know about.

    My information is tenuously remembered from a documentary on PBS, called Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History.

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