Monday, May 07, 2007

Barbary Apes in Maitama

Above the pool where we cooled ourselves from the late afternoon sun, a tribe of barbary apes made their way home. First, we saw branches shaking in a way the wind could not shake. Then, one small ape appeared, his face black, his body white. He looked down at us animals in the blue water, then circumspected the landscape. Then he gingerly made his way across the earthern scree, to disappear into the shrubbery. A swallow circled about, upset that its young had been disturbed by the shaking branches. Then another ape appeared, dropping down off a branch, with a tiny baby ape in tow. Slowly, with long pauses, studying the surrounds for predators, mother and child followed the first ape on the evening journey home. Then the father of the pack appeared, much bigger than all the others, his tail curled proudly against the deep red of the earth. He trekked boldly across the scree without pause, his body (about the size of a labrador) lithe and supple in forward movement. One by one, more members of the pack made their way from left to right.

A few minutes later, we saw them high in the trees to our right. One had secured the best spot in a fork of the branches. His body held fast by the cleft, he could afford to look lazily about, his safe night's rest assured. One of the baby apes ran along a small branch, its squirrel-sized body in silhouette against the dusking sky. Another practised jumping from branch to branch, according to a different relation to gravity. Slowly, the apes settled as night quickly drew in.


culturalmiscellany 12:22 pm  

They're lovely to watch aren't they. You just have to watch they don't go and pinch your stuff whilst you swim, thats what happened to be @ Wikki Warm Spring :)

Pseudo-Independence 2:19 pm  

This is absolutely lovely. For those who may like it RAW, I think this to be one of the many luxuries of life in Nigeria. I agree with CM they could be lovely or even mesmerizing to watch. I can only imagine their simple but shrewd faces, and the way they are known to wiggle their hands into your hip pocket as soon as your back is turned. The closest I can get to in the UK, would be to view my King Kong or planet of the apes movies. Unless one visits a zoo! In fact, the most one would get from the UK national trust sites are dears...I wonder what the argument for/against is, that in Naija we should we have it RAW?


Jeremy u can bring a tape measure. lol

Cee 6:15 pm  

The way you wrote this made me wish i was there to watch... I agree with CM; they are lovely to watch but they are quick with the pinching of stuff

I completely miss HOME right now:(

culturalmiscellany 6:23 pm  

pseudo-independence In the UK the best you can get is the West Midland Safari Park that you drive through I think or the Gorilla Kingdom at London Zoo. I like the wild in the wild so to speak in Nigeria but I think some people abuse that a hunt the animals or don't treat them with the respect they deserve. They may be cute but they're not to be messed with. In Yankari I woke with a Warthog outside my door and I must say I wasn't planning on fighting as I think I'd be the worse for wear not it! Whilst camping there was good I don't think enough people appreciate that you are in a wild area and to be on guard.

Jumoke Giwa 9:18 pm  

Home, sweet home. Please save some of these encounters for us. We are on our way.

Jumoke Giwa 9:19 pm  

Home, sweet home. Please save some of these encounters for us. We are on our way.

Pseudo-Independence 9:20 pm  

Thank you CM I agree, observing the animals in the natural environment and weather conditions is more interesting than the artificial confines of a zoo or park, where they are held in captivity and uncomplimentary weather conditions. For example, the Yankari or better still within the University of Lagos campus (and I can remember the following from visiting a lecturer friend years ago) groups of monkeys will often come to take a look around the grounds of the Faculty of Social Sciences and as you can imagine make a very interesting spectacle.

2plus2 1:09 pm  

I am surprised they have not eaten them a "bush meat". What can I say.

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