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© 2016 Jim Codington – What is the meaning of Life?

Chimpanzee Fascination

By Jim Codington

My fascination with primates was awakened back in the early 70’s when I was studying and trapping squirrel monkeys in the Amazon Basin between undergraduate and Grad school. As a Grad student, I went on to work within the Calif Primate Center UC Davis where I spent quite a bit of time in the cancer research depart focusing on monkeys and their lymphoma outbreak. I developed a genuine respect for their intelligence, social complexity, athletic prowess and their natural beauty, but through those experiences, I somehow never felt personally connected to them.

My perception changed drastically on a recent trip to the remote Yerkes National Primate Research Center located in the jungles along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, a short distance from Jane Goodall’s famous research Center in Gombe. Hiking hours well into the cloud forest, up on the mountain steps, I had my first personal encounter with the magnificent Chimpanzee. That experience, of looking into the eyes of a massive alpha male at a range of some 20 feet, was one I will never forget. Quietly photographing as they played, groomed each other and their infants, and sat pondering their hands in a distinctly human-like manner, I was struck by the intelligence and serenity of these creatures. Observing them in their own wild environment touched my heart in a profound way.

It was in that dark steaming forest I sought to capture, with my camera, images portraying the magical feeling of kinship I had developed with my primate brethren. This unique experience cemented my desire to assist in the conservation of these truly splendid creatures.

Image will be display at at ArkArk Gallery in San Jose from June 2 to July 17, 2016. Join me at the opening Reception on June 3 reception from 5:00 to 9:00 PM to learn and hear more!

To Register for the Reception–click on the following link: