National Geographic : 1953 Jul
74 National Geographic Photographers Volkmar Wentzel and Donald McBain Just Like Old Times: Bimbo Sits Down to Waffles with the Family This was a special feast at the zoo to celebrate the reunion. Back home in Thailand, Bimbo easily managed the business of eating waffles, but syrup streaming down her front posed a problem. She often took two days to lick it off. This and other niceties gave her a reputation for being neat and clean. Bimbo's efforts at grooming got a weekly assist with brush and comb from the Wells family (page 65). swinging from a tree to parallel electric wires along the road. Grasping a wire in each hand, she seemed unable to let go and howled piti fully. On the second occasion she finally slumped into a bush and then fell into Ro berta's waiting arms, where she lay exhausted for an hour. Roberta Nurses Bimbo to Health The next day her burnt hands were cracked and in dreadful shape. A physician gave us a sulfa powder, which Roberta sprinkled into Bimbo's hands at intervals until, in a sur prisingly short time, they were healed. Bimbo was a good patient and talked in low tones, sitting quietly, while being treated. We were unable to take Bimbo with us when we left Chiang Mai, so we put her in the care of friends and gave them permission to pass her on to someone else if they could not give her a permanent home. We haven't heard how she got from the northern mountains of Thailand to the seacoast. "We bought two gibbons from the Bangkok dealer," said Dr. Mann, "but one died on the trip to America. Your gibbon was accus tomed to humans, tinned food, and a certain amount of captivity; that accounts for her survival, I'm sure." Bimbo is contented in the zoo, now that she knows friends are near, and she finds a new interest in scanning the crowds for a tall girl with blue eyes. She gets bits of pineapple occasionally, but, with the exception of our reunion party (above), she has had to forego such treats as British chocolates and waffles and syrup for Sunday breakfast. The other gibbons might not understand.