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Baby monkeys!

by becca on December 15, 2009

After three days of searching for gibbons in the wild on the Gibbon Experience and coming up short, the first thing we wanted to do in Chiang Mai was actually see some primates. At the Chiang Mai Zoo we got more than we could have possibly expected when we hopped off the tram at the orangutan exhibit to find the big ones sleeping, but across the way were a baby orangutan and a baby chimpanzee. To our surprise, the trainers just passed the little guys into our arms as we approached. I couldn’t believe it. At first the chimp looked fake, like his face was made of porcelain, but no, he was as real and very child-like: looking around curiously, reaching for hair and earrings, and sitting on your hip. Nate had the seven-month-old chimp in his arms as a tram of visitors stopped by us and he held the baby proudly for everyone to see. The poor orangutan on the other hand seemed like he had had enough of people and was trying to hide under a blanket in his basket.

The zoo was pretty cool over all. At times it felt very jungle-like and in addition to holding baby monkeys, we fed jaguars and giraffes, saw pandas and finally watched gibbons swinging about.

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