“Someone told me it’s all happening at the Zoo.  I do believe it.  I do believe it’s true.” 

Source: Frank Obrigewitsch, SJ

In June 2017 the playful apes returned to the Assiniboine Park Zoo After a six year absence.  Maya was born in the Winnipeg zoo in January 2011.  In a press release, curator of animal care, Janice Martin, said, “We’re very excited to welcome gibbons back to our zoo family.”

They are not monkeys
these eccentric beasts
lounging on the platform
perhaps thinking of their
ancestral homelands,
ever green rain and
bamboo forests of
Myanmar, Indonesia
Malaysia, Thailand?
With no tails,
faces circled in white,
and long fingered ‘hands’,
Maya and Samson,
Hylobates lar,
‘white handed gibbons’,
the fastest of all primates,
of a sudden

Source: Frank Obrigewitsch, SJ

zip through the enclosure,
elongated arms flipping
their bodies nimbly
from tree to rope
in their wire enclosure
(vacated just last year
by Bhanu and Kamal,
rare Asiatic lions
sent to sire progeny
in a London zoo.)
then suddenly pause
clinging to the mesh
gazing at the primates
staring in at them.

Frank Obrigewitsch, SJ, is pastor of St. Ignatius parish in Winnipeg.

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