*** Chapter 4 Part 7
Dell was crying and felt like retching. “Why would anybody kill chimps?”
Panda thought she knew. The person or persons responsible for emptying out the zoo was thinking of the future survival of the human race. Eliminating a large primate species would ensure that there would be no competition for food. She had already seen the orangutan cage was open and empty. The same for all the other primate dwellings. Apparently the shooter did not want to harm the smaller or gentler primates. She felt really bad for the chimps but had to grudgingly agree with the assassin. She remembered documentaries showing chimps as far too human: aggressive, capable of murder and rape, and territorial. She thought about a pod of chimps trashing a grocery store that she and Dell would have worked so hard to preserve for future needs. Fat hairy chimp hands sucking down on the Doritos, pooping in the aisles...yeah. Maybe it was better the chimps were eliminated.
Dell said, “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
“Okay.” Said Panda. “Let’s leave and drive through the park. Keep your windows up and keep your eye out for the lions or the jaguar. Look in the trees, too. I would imagine the lemurs will be hanging out there as well as the other small monkeys.”
Panda thought that the chances of survival for the released animals was pretty good. The zoo and park were located very close to the Sacramento river. Miles of farmland, prairie, and open wetlands surrounded the city in the heart of the central valley. She imagined the ungulates, zebras, giraffes and other grazers would make their way to the river and eventually follow its banks into the true countryside.
The monkeys were going to have to adjust to life as park dwellers. Urban living at its finest. Fruit and nut trees were abundant. Eventually they would find what they needed for a healthy diet. It was a shame about those chimps, though. At least on this continent, no large groups of chimps would be forming. Who could say what was going on in African Jungles? Without human predators, Panda imagined the chimps and other Great Apes thriving and existing as they had before man came along to wipe them out.
As she was driving along musing, she saw Dell slam on her brakes in the rearview mirror. Just then her cell phone rang. “Look Panda! Look over there by those picnic tables!”
Panda grabbed her binoculars although she could clearly see without them the shoulders and haunches of a hyena feeding on the remains of an Eastern Bongo.