Post Category Paul on 07 Aug 2011 11:22 am
Two years ago I posted this anecdote about the stuffed chimpanzee in this photo. To recap, during the 1930′s, a curator in the American Museum of Natural History adopted the chimp on a trip to Africa, named her Meshie, and attempted to raise her as part of his human family for years, treating her like (or better than) one of his own children. The experiment went badly for everyone involved — the children were terrified of the chimp; Meshie was sent to a zoo; and she eventually ended up as a museum exhibit.
I posted that story just because I thought it was fascinating, and because it might make an interesting blog entry. However, I keep underestimating the Web’s ability to connect people. I just got an email from Harry Raven, the son who had had to share his home with Meshie, now in his mid-80s. He wrote:
I came upon your site whilst (love that word) Googling for directions to the Meshie exhibit at the AMNH. … [A friend] just read Joyce Wadler’s NY Times story and is eager to see my father’s pet. I was afraid of my father, and I came to be afraid of Meshie as she matured. Working with Joyce to help create her story brought closure for me of a very troubling four years in our family history.
Ah, the Internet. Never know where it will take you.
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