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Squire Charles Waterton the Naturalist
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Jenny the Ape
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Rattlesnake Experiment
Jenny the Ape
Wildlife Watchtower
Click to enlarge[Charles Waterton] paid four long visits to the apartment of a species of ape, called the chimpanzee, in a menagerie at Scarborough, for the purpose of studying its forms and habits. It was a female, named Jenny by her keeper. He says of her:-
"Her skin is as black as a sloe in the hedge, while her fur appears curly and brown. Her eyes are beautiful, but there is no white in them, and her ears are as small in proportion as those of a negress." Her nose was large and flattened. She was all gentleness when kindly treated, but showed at times that there was much latent mischief in her temper. Her hands and feet were fitted for movement among trees and not for walking on the ground. So completely did he win Jenny's affections that, when he bade her farewell he says:-
"Jenny put her arms round my neck, looked wistfully at me, and then we both exchanged soft kisses to the evident surprise and amusement of all the lookers on." (1)

Click to enlargeWe now know that Jenny was an ape not a chimpanzee. Later on, after her death, Jenny became one of Waterton's satirical commentaries - Martin Luther After His Fall.

■ Visit Wakefield Museum to see Jenny the Ape in her role as "Martin Luther After His Fall", and much more.

■ Sir David Attenborough on Waterton, watch the video in Wakefield Museum.

1. The Squire of Walton Hall; or Sketches and Incidents from the Life of Charles Waterton, Esq., the Adventurous Traveller and Daring Naturalist, Daniel Wise, 1874, Nelson & Phillips, New York.

See a selection of books about Charles Waterton, Guyana
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Jenny the Ape
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