Stateside once more-

Well, I’m back in the US and much sadder for it – I already miss Uganda and the forest immensely! On my last day in the forest, the chimps started pant-hooting as soon as I got up to leave for the last time. It was an incredible goodbye.

In the last few weeks of my trip, I experienced many wonderful things – meeting Jane Goodall, attending the Sonso 20th anniversary conference, going on safari, and so on. All-in-all, this summer was a truly life-defining experience; I learned to love Africa, and I plan on returning as soon as my future research will allow it! I know now that I definitely want to go into the field of primatology, and I’m currently delving into the job & graduate school application process in hopes of getting there.

As far as my research goes, at this point in the process I will be sorting and analyzing my data from Uganda in order to study the naturalistic behaviors of free chimpanzees that ought to be demonstrated by those in captivity. I will use my observations to look at possible enrichment activities for captive chimps. My next step will be to interview workers at several laboratories, sanctuaries, and zoos to assess the primary concerns of workers while making enrichment – do they need quick activities, or perhaps activities that are easy to clean? Then, I’ll be matching chimpanzee needs with the needs of their caretakers in order to determine what enrichment is best for all parties involved. Following that, I’ll be creating a website demonstrating enrichment that suits the results of my study!

Many thanks to those of you who have followed my research throughout my journey.

All my best,