Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Red Ben

We spent several hours today at Brookfield zoo. It's something that we do nearly every year about this time. Among other things, we spent some time watching the orangutans. I found an audience for my "orangutan escape" stories, and looked through a display that told the stories of the family group in the exhibit: An adult male, an adult female, and their five year old daughter. It turns out that Ben, the male, had been born in Omaha in 1978...

Back in the late '70s, I spent a lot of time in Omaha, hanging out with my then-fiancee. On one occasion we visited a tiny local zoo on a day when there were next to no visitors. They had an infant orangutan that they showed off for us. He wrapped his hand around my finger, and we interacted a bit. It was a REALLY cool experience...

So... Three and a half decades later, the baby orang I met in Omaha weighs 270 pounds, and was 30 feet away from me, looking scary and playing with his daughter. I started to cry, and I could NOT stop smiling. I don't entirely understand my reaction, but it was still REALLY cool...

Uncle Hyena
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