The one where I met some apes. For real.

Last night, I happened to be catching up on Good Reads & updating some things when I came across Sara Gruen’s Ape House. Instead of a summary of the books, there is a blurb where she talks about some of her research, including visiting the Great Ape Trust. Admittedly, I did not know about the Great Ape Trust before this, but I recognized Kanzi’s name in her blurb & had to do a little more research.

Back in 1997, when I was still an undergrad & Kanzi was still hanging out in Atlanta, I had the chance to see Kanzi & his fellow apes at Georgia State’s Language Research Center. This was back before I realized how big a deal it was that we got to visit. It was just an interesting side trip after a conference, thanks to our department head’s relationship with the Dr’s Rumbaugh.

I don’t remember a lot from the visit, but I remember touring the facility, seeing the chimpanzees and bonobos. I remember getting up close and personal with the bonobos and having them talk to us using lexigrams. I remember them asking us for grapes. Everything else is fuzzy. I wish I remembered more, we were only there for half a day, but it’s the one thing that really stands out from that trip to Atlanta.

Language Research Center
This is, in fact, the only picture I really have from the visit. I think we weren’t allowed to take pictures while with the apes (and sometimes monkeys), so just it’s us with Dr. Rumbaugh outside the facility.