I’m not animal lover by choice. I keep no pets at home. Circumstance led me to encounter chimpanzees in Africa and I remain in their thrall. This week Alternet, the online site providing perspectives from the Left, published a rumination of mine on why zoos in America might rethink their practice of keep chimps captive. In the article, I describe a reunion with a chimp named Jimmy who lives in Ghana and whom I’ve also written about in my memoir, Married to Africa.
I don’t mention that my concern for Africa extends to these special creatures. Next time. Foreign donors commonly chop up Africa into little bits — health, education, women, environment, mobile phones — and then tries to “develop” one of the bits. Chimps are a “bit” too, since a specific lobby, within the gobal wildlife community, exists to advocate for and fund chimp activities in Africa. How to connect all the bits, including the chimp one, remains a large task for Africans themselves (and for those who love them).