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#118143 - 12/23/03 11:03 AM Albino Chimpanzee
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Don't know whether this is all quite true or not, but there was a program about an albino chimpanzee named Pinky on last weekend that was terrifically fascinating. If you can catch her story, do watch it. I don't want to tell the ending and won't.

The information that could be incorrect was Pinky was reported to be the only albino chimpanzee ever recorded. She had one brown and one blue eye, a somewhat spoiled disposition in that she was used to being pampered once she'd been rescued, and she was precious. The other chimpanzees generally accepted her once she'd established residency in her Sierra Leone shelter.

Although the other young apes were fairly eager to climb and swing, Pinky preferred traveling on the ground with occasional forays up a tree or two. Impressive, if disturbing, was the bold play of those chimpanzees who enjoyed shaking slender trees to try to knock off some youngster holding on for dear life. I can remember well my brother having done the same thing to me when I used to climb trees--neither of us is a chimpanzee, honestly.

Anyway, the show is very good, sometimes disturbing, but interesting.

#118144 - 12/23/03 07:02 PM Re: Albino Chimpanzee
Zed Offline

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I think I remember some of the story, weren't the keepers surprised at how easily she was accepted by the other chimps?

#118145 - 12/23/03 07:26 PM Re: Albino People
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Perhaps one of our medical correspondents could clear this up for me.

I was always told at home that albino humans rarely made it to adulthood because they were so prone to skin cancer on exposure to sunlight. However, there seem to be quite a few albinos wandering around here in Indonesia who don't seem to be coming to much harm. And, with a nod in the direction of matters linguaphile, bule, slang for Caucasian, literally means albino.


#118146 - 12/23/03 07:53 PM Re: Albino People
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Bingley: I never saw an albino in any clinic. I knew a teen age female albino when I was a boy. I'll see if I can find out anything interesting about them on the Internet.
P.S. Here is a good site with a lot of information:

Albinos have several troublesome eye problems, some of which are related to their being unable to form melanin.
Melanin being protective again solar radiation, they sunburn
very easily, and protracted exposure would make them have increased susceptibility to skin cancer. But they wouldn't get a malignant melanoma, as I did.

The article said that rejection because of their different appearance leads to social isolation that may be their biggest problem.

#118147 - 12/25/03 04:39 AM Re: Albino Rejection
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Yes, the keeper wondered whether the chimp might be rejected, but generally quite the opposite occurred with a few notable exceptions. The keeper theorized (and this is very interesting) that perhaps Pinky had been accepted because of the white overall appearance. You see, very young chimps have white tails--and this identifying feature for youth causes the adult chimps to handle the young chimps to some degree with more care. Once the chimps are full grown several years down the road, the white tail disappears and then all bets are off. The keeper hoped in theory that because pinky was white all over the adult chimps would respond to the white color itself as a flag for youth. The alpha male, put out with pinky for having rejected him, eventually did throw her about a bit.


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