Casa de Ricardo


Chimpanzee “Meshie” Holding Two and a Half Month Old Mary Raven, Daughter of H.C. Raven, c. 1932

Henry C. Raven, explorer, and Curator of Comparative Anatomy at the American Museum of Natural History, brought the orphaned chimpanzee Meshie home from an expedition in Africa in 1932 and raised her in his home with his three children.  Although she was portrayed to the press as a fully integrated member of the family, his children, as adults, told a different story.  They never actually played or slept with Meshie unless it was being photographed or filmed, and any episodes of aggression were cut.  They resented having to compete with Meshie for their father’s attention, and say that he was only ever affectionate with her.  Upon reaching sexual maturity, Meshie became too difficult to control, and she was sold to a Chicago zoo.   He visited her about a year later:  “[Raven] told the keeper to unlock the cage and let him inside. The man refused, saying that it was far too dangerous, since Meshie had attacked several people and tried to bite others. Raven absolutely insisted, and the keeper finally gave in… ‘When Raven did go in the cage, Meshie threw herself into his arms and clung to him tightly. She began crying. The tears were streaming down her face.’ Meshie died in childbirth a year later, and the zoo shipped her body back to the Museum at Raven’s request, where he had it mounted and put on display in the Hall of Primates.”  - Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History (St. Martin’s press, 1994)

(via bummerandlazarus)