Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

R.I.P. Cinder: Saint Louis Zoo Chimp Dies at Fourteen

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Cinder, the chimp at the Saint Louis Zoo whose most distinguishing feature for visitors was her alopecia, is dead at fourteen. She was known as the "Hairless Chimp."

The naked ape. What does that mean?

  • Carol A. Weerts,

Some, certainly, laugh. I think of my father (click the link and scroll down or search for What Manner of Beast).

It's an earlier poem, though, that comes to mind:


Stan Laurel. It's when he scratches his head;
rueful, a little vague, but definitely
a thinking animal. (The same unmixed appeal,
like children and the very old.) Why is it
so reassuring that man is not the first
two-legged beast to discover he thinks, and with what?

Left to his own devices, he travels alone,
or in twos, or threes;
not, like his more categorical brothers,
in orders, complete with vows and hierarchies.
Think how our early fathers, more often than not,
were surly anchorites. No company
would have them.

(Some barefaced son of a slightly dubious mother
scratches his skull, and finds
the fly still walking upside-down inside.
The motels blink their neon-yellow eyes,
Fords growl in the underbrush: the jungle
is safe again for democracy and the legion.)

He looks at me from under his rueful wrinkle;
I am less reassured.
I want to whisper: I am not with the others.
Essential man is alone, whether caged or free,
whether nose to tail with his mate in the bog of Desire,
or trailed by a half dozen wet-nosed consequences.

Through the hand-polished bars he hears it the way it comes out:
I am not your keeper.
-Donald Finkel

Tags: ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation