Signing With The Chimps

While teaching American Sign Language at Central Washington University, Dr. Roger and Debbie Fouts came to the college. They installed a chimp laboratory in the psychology building and eventually an outdoor chimp enclosure.  Washoe and other chimps became residents at Central’s facility.

I truly understand what the term “transformational experience” now means.

 I was accepted by them because I knew their language. Exchanging ideas with chimps was a transformational experience. 

 Eventually, I gained enough trust to go in with the chimps, play games, have conversations, groom, and tease and play with them.

During that time, I was also able to meet Jane Goodall–another transformational experience. 



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