Watch and Wonder as a Chimp Does His “Rain Dance”

Two males charge by in the foreground as Monk screams, while Miles, the alpha, builds up steam for his own display.
Two males charge by in the foreground in a typical display as Monk screams and Miles, the alpha, builds up steam for his reply. (Photo by Aaron Sandel)

There’s something comforting—almost nostalgic—about rain; the way it muffles other noises as it taps the street and drums the window. The accompanying odors of sweet grass and decaying leaves plastered to the sidewalk. I’m sure that at my university campus back home there’s also the smell of wet dog—probably due to all the drenched squirrels. I like squirrels. But now, after three months of western Uganda’s rainforest rainy season, I’ve had enough rain. So has the forest.

What were once valleys are now impassable swamps, unless a fallen tree can act as a balance-beam bridge. A wrong step and I’ll have mud up to my knees. Trails and animal paths have become streams; the forest is doing all it can to siphon out the excess water. The rainy season is draining.

This wet period usually ends November 16, plus or minus ten days. But the rains continued well into December. People in the village outside the forest were dreaming of a wet Christmas. I was holding out hope for a dry Chanukah, keen to —> Read More Here


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