fauna foundation

As many of you know, I am privileged to photograph the chimpanzees living at the Fauna Foundation (Visit them at:  http://faunachimps.tumblr.com
This week it is Binky’s 26th birthday, and he has been living in sanctuary since he was rescued from a medical research lab at the age of 8. He is a young, handsome, gregarious, playful, intelligent soul. Full of beans, as they say. I stylized this photo to try to capture him in a classic, dignified “portrait.” Let me know what you think?

Primate Vocalizations and Visual Displays

Rhesus macaques

Pictures A, B, and C depict agnostic expressions (threat, aggression, submission) while picture D is a play face. Vocalizations typically coincide with visual displays, such as shrill barks, coos, and grunts.

A. Bared-teeth display – “fear grimace”; lips retracted so that teeth are shown; teeth are clenched;  typical display of a subordinate monkey when intimated or attacked by hi­gher ranking monkey- appeasement signal to reduce aggression (Cawthon Lang 2006)

Darla often exhibits this type of display when scared or aggressed by Newton.

B. Scream – mouth open wide

C. Open-mouth threat – lips in an “O” shape covering teeth; ears may be flat against head; typical display by a dominant individual towards lower ranking individual.

Darla exhibits this expression along with head bob towards anyone if they appear to look at her or in her general direction.

D. Relaxed open-mouth face – lips wider apart than threat expression with top lip covering teeth and bottom lip exposing teeth; play face

Written by Primate Care specialist Lindsay Towns at Fauna Foundation

(Image Parr and heintz 2009)

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Fauna Foundation - Arrival of the first HIV chimps by faunafoundation

Fifteen years ago today HIV infected chimps Pablo, Donna Rae, Billy Jo, Sue Ellen and Pepper left their laboratory cages at LEMSIP to make their new home at Fauna. Of the original five, Sue Ellen is still with us today.

Today is a sad day for my friends at Fauna Foundation. One year ago today, a very special soul, Pepper, passed away. I created this image of her on March 12, 2012, the very first day I met the chimps at Fauna. (faunachimps.tumblr) I was overwhelmed and mesmerized by them! Their hands. Their eyes. Their voices! It was an extraordinary experience and one I won’t forget. That first day, when I wasn’t holding my breath, I photographed Spock, Pepper and her best, friend Sue Ellen. I have now been photographing the chimps for 15 months, but this photo, from my very first encounter, is still one of my favorites. Thank you Pepper, for allowing me to see you, and to know you, if only just a little.

This is a special day in our history. Fifteen years ago today HIV infected chimps Pablo, Donna Rae, Billy Jo, Sue Ellen and Pepper left their laboratory cages at LEMSIP to make their new home at Fauna. Of the original five, Sue Ellen is still with us today. Please watch this extraordinary part of history on the Discovery Special that was filmed at that time. http://youtu.be/vAIpI1yTZto