National Geographic : 1963 Aug
Prey Clamped in Teeth, a Meat-eating Ape Hurries to Cross an Exposed Ridge Chimpanzees in the Gombe region kill game for food, Miss Goodall found, thus upsetting a widely held belief that wild chimps eat no meat. This one, uneasy in open ground, flees with the remains of a colobus monkey. Poised for flight, a bushbuck noses a salt lick. Miss Goodall saw chimpanzees eat the young of this antelope. his bony hips, his broken finger, his curled up, slightly deformed feet, and his scars. Such scars and deformities are rare to my knowl edge, though I have seen other broken fingers. Once when William had a dreadful cold, he slept in the same nest for three nights, a most unusual procedure (page 283). Each night it poured rain, and when he climbed down in the morning he was shivering vio lently, and coughing and wheezing so that I longed to give him a hot toddy instead of a cold banana. Chimpanzees often call out if it rains during the night. They sit up in their nests, hunched forward over their knees with heads bent down, and wait until the rain stops. I never observed them attempting to make a shelter or to take advantage of any natural one. Rains Make Grass 12 Feet High Rainfall in the Kigoma area is heavy, and the rainy season, which starts with the "short rains" in October, carries on without a break into the "long rains," which last until May. 300 At the start of the short rains, the moun tains are at their most beautiful, with green grass pushing up through the black volcanic soil, and flowers, many of them exquisitely lovely, appearing overnight. Gradually, however, it becomes hard to move through the mountains. The grass, razor sharp and always drenched by rain or dew, shoots up to 12 feet or more all over the reserve, and traveling along the overgrown tracks is no joke. Once I came within 10 yards of a bull buffalo who was lying down dozing. Luckily I was downwind and he never knew I was there. Keeping equipment dry is a never-ending battle. Water condenses in binoculars, cam era lenses mist over, and everything is per manently thick with mildew. In addition, when I am moving about through grass taller than my head, it is diffi cult to see anything. In order to continue my observations, I have to climb trees. Thus, as the rainy season progresses, my own habits become increasingly arboreal!