Video by @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom When the female chimp we knew as Farafa led her young infant, Fanta, to a secret waterhole in a forest in Senegal, we witnessed something that made us wonder about the nature of chimps—and our connection to them. Fanta was just one year old and had never experienced a water hole before. While her mother watched, she explored the water’s surface at first with a leaf, but then she discovered her own reflection and began to interact with it, poking at it, making funny faces, and ultimately kissing herself, like a human child might do in front of a mirror. When we showed this video to Jane Goodall she was as enchanted by this display as we were. Fieldwork with chimps is hard, but being able to capture glimmers of insight about our fundamental kinship with chimps makes it all worthwhile. There are less than 200 chimps left in Senegal and their future hangs in the balance, just like it does for all chimps in Africa. As we gather together with family during this holiday season, let’s embrace our next of kin on the great tree of life. We can all help chimps survive by supporting the individuals and organizations that protect them and the forests they depend on. Follow me @FransLanting for more amazing images and stories of these unique chimps in Senegal.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety @janegoodallinst @Rootsandshoots @World_wildlife @conservationorg @racingextinction #Senegal #Wildlife #Conservation #Chimps #Rootsandshoots #Family #Play #Wonder #Gratitude