Rescued Chimps Under Path of Totality Confused by the Solar Eclipse: 'They Thought It Was Bedtime'
During the total solar eclipse earlier this month, the 22 apes at Project Chimps in Blue Ridge became quiet, and scuffled back into their indoor habitat.
As the eclipse had humankind swept up in frenzy earlier this month, these rescued chimpanzees at a Georgia sanctuary in the path of totality were less than impressed.
“They thought it was bedtime,” said Project Chimps executive director Ali Crumpacker. “They definitely seemed confused.”
Crumpacker told InsideEdiition.com that her team had anticipated the chimps would react to the sky suddenly becoming dark but “we thought we’d get more reactions.”
While caregivers didn’t prepare the chimpanzees for the eclipse, she explained that they made sure the animals had access to their favorite spots, in case they became spooked.
As the sun went into eclipse, some of the apes could be heard calling, or pant-hooting.
“It’s used in a lot of different contexts,” Crumpacker said, explaining the vocalization was a largely positive reaction.
After heading indoors during totality, all 22 apes returned outside and continued with their daily activities when they sky went back to normal.
“We hypothesized that they might be scared because they didn’t know why their sun was going away,” she said. “What they did wasn’t surprising. We just thought there’d be a little more animation.”
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