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Chimpanzee; Ukraine; zoo

Chimp goes home with a raincoat and bicycle.

Some stories are just too cute to keep to ourselves and this one about an escaped chimp is one of them. Ukraine has been locked in a battle with Russia for months now, which obviously decreases the foot traffic of civilians. But the traffic decrease at the zoo in Kharkiv, Ukraine, had Chichi, a 13-year-old chimpanzee, so bored that she escaped to wander around the city.


One could assume that she was looking for the people. After 13 years in a zoo where people come to you to tell you how pretty you are, a chimp is bound to miss the attention. Chichi escaped on September 5, certainly giving unsuspecting onlookers a shock. Thankfully, her escapades didn't last too long, although if I personally ran into a chimpanzee while trying to grab a cup of coffee, 15 seconds would've been too long. Chichi was caught after about two hours in Kharkiv's Freedom Square not far from the zoo, according to NBC.

Chichi had a nice day out and you may think the story ends there, but the way that they lured her back to the zoo is like something out of a "Curious George" book. In the viral video you see that the zookeeper, Victoria Kozyreva, brought her raincoat to Freedom Square and then sat and chatted with the chimp. After a few minutes of catching the zookeeper up on her fugitive shenanigans, the chimp slipped on the yellow raincoat before hitching a ride on a bicycle back to her enclosure.

Kozyreva told NBC, "It wasn’t difficult to convince her, all that's needed is negotiations. There was rain. I talked to her and invited with my jacket, helped to put it on and gave her a hug." Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent animals; they're able to solve puzzles and learn to communicate with sign language so it's no surprise Chichi was able to escape her enclosure without much difficulty. According to NBC, Kozyreva has known the chimp since it was in childhood … or would that be chimphood? Either way, she's known the chimp a long time, which could have played a part in it being willing to negotiate.

Surely Chichi has an amazing story to tell the other chimps at the zoo and hopefully none of them get the same idea from her adventures. The sight of a chimpanzee in a raincoat preparing for a ride on a bicycle will certainly bring a smile to just about anyone's face. Whoever's been reading the chimps "Curious George" books, keep it up because this is the cutest capture the internet has ever seen.

While the war continues in Ukraine, it's easy to forget the animals caught in the middle of conflict and their caregivers possibly unable to access everything they need. If you'd like to help efforts to care for the zoo animals in Ukraine you can donate through the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums. If you'd like to help domestic animals in Ukraine you can reach out to the Humane Society International for ways to help.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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