“Imagine you’re in a forest, deep in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo . . . there are strange noises up above . . .”
The barn is dark, sounds of insects fill the air, a tree nearby shakes, and a shadowy figure moves among the branches. Suddenly there is a vocalization, a flurry of limbs and a great ape swings into view . . .
The great ape is none other than renowned scientist and conservationist Ian Redmond, and the barn is the headquarters of Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund in Johnson. It was early October when Ian Redmond swung to Vermont from England to share a talk accompanied by incredible, intimate footage of gorillas he’d captured while working with the late Dian Fossey (Ian was one of Dian’s research assistants). Ian spoke of his personal connection with these incredible apes, our close cousins, and about the effects of climate change, not only on gorillas but also on their habitats and all of Earth’s support systems.
He spoke of the stories that we tell ourselves about our place in nature while Borgo, a human-ape hybrid contributed a reading from Mark Laxer’s The Monkey Bible (an exploration of the line between human and non-human primates, and the role of religion in conservation).
Lively discussions followed.
Proceeds from the event, which was a successful inauguration of the barn at 480 Hogback Road, went to the Ape Alliance. Ian also spoke to students at Cambridge Elementary School, and Lamoille Union High School in well-received and inspirational events. Mark Laxer and Sara Lourie, co-founders of Chimp-n-Sea were proud to present this event in association with Cold Hollow to Canada (and beyond!). They hope to hold future wildlife, storytelling, and conservation events at their barn. For more information about Chimp-n-Sea or to receive information about future events email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about The Monkey Bible see: www.monkeybible.com. A video of the event will be posted soon, please check back in early December for details.