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Ripples #72

Compiled and written by Lenny Giteck

Ripples art--smallIndian Monkey Swims Daily
Laps in Mumbai Public Pool  

Most everyone has heard the expression “Monkey see, monkey do,” but now it appears that “Monkey see, monkey swim” may be just as apt. According to an article on huffingtonpost.com, a monkey in a suburb of Mumbai, India, has started swimming laps in a local public pool for approximately an hour each day, beginning at 7 a.m.

Pool authorities have decided to overlook the fact that the simian swimmer — who shows up at the pool from a nearby garden — has not paid the required fee to use the facility. The article reports that pool manager Naveen Anchan told ITN News, “It was a pleasant sight to see the monkey swim like a professional swimmer.” The piece goes on to note: “In videos of the odd routine, the monkey watches other swimmers before jumping into the water to swim up and down a lane.”

Monkeys are a common sight in India, but many are notorious for pilfering food and other items from humans; this particular monkey does not bother people at or in the pool. On the contrary, the morning swim sessions have drawn many intrigued and appreciative human observers.

Ripples only hopes the monkey understands and respects the difference between a pool and a bathroom better than many homo sapien swimmers do.  

Videos:  To watch the monkey swim, click here. The video screen at the top actually shows three separate clips (separated by commercials) about the monkey — the first accompanied by what inexplicably sounds like Hawaiian music, the other two by narration.

Ripples Classic: February 8, 2012  

Tarzan’s Chimp Pal Dies
At Ripe Old Age of 80

Cheetah, the primate comedic actor from the Johnny Weissmuller “Tarzan” movies of the 1930s and ’40s, died recently of kidney failure at the age of 80 (human years). A number of chimpanzees were used in the films, but the one that just passed away was believed to be the original and the animal most identified with the role.

Cheetah lived at Florida’s Suncoast Primate Sanctuary for more than a half-century after leaving Weissmuller’s Florida estate in 1960. Weissmuller — who won five Olympic gold medals in swimming events — died in 1984.

Weissmuller’s movies frequently featured swimming scenes in jungle lagoons and rivers; Tarzan usually got into life-and-death underwater wrestling matches with huge, obviously fake alligators. (Guess who always won, even though fully grown male alligators can weigh more than 1,000 pounds?) Back in those pre-CGI days, it was pretty exciting stuff.

After Cheetah passed away last Christmas Eve, Debbie Cobb, outreach director for the animal sanctuary, was quoted on articles.cnn.com as saying, "He was very compassionate. He could tell if I was having a good day or a bad day. He was always trying to get me to laugh if he thought I was having a bad day. He was very in tune to human feelings."

On the other hand, a volunteer at the center noted that “when [Cheetah] didn't like somebody or something that was going on, he would pick up some poop and throw it at them. He could get you at 30 feet with bars in between."

That view was corroborated by Mia Farrow, whose mother, the late actress Maureen O’Sullivan, played Jane to Weissmuller’s Tarzan. After Cheetah’s demise, Farrow Tweeted, “My mom...referred to Cheetah-the-chimp as 'that bastard' — saying he bit her at every opportunity.” (thewrap.com)

And how did Cheetah spend his days at the sanctuary? Apparently, he enjoyed finger-painting (his artistic efforts reportedly sold for more than $100 a pop), watching American football and listening to Christian music.

If Cheetah did indeed pass away at the age of 80, he achieved remarkable longevity: Generally speaking, chimpanzees in captivity live about 60 years.

Video: To watch a TV news report on Cheetah’s life and death, click here.


And with that, Ripples once again says…
Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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