Muggings in the Mist

by Adam the Cameraman, in Uganda
8th December, 2009

What a morning!!! Lawrence the manager gave us a 6am morning wake-up call; after having spent most of the night awake listening to the frogs, the pelting rain and thunder, waking up was the last thing I wanted to do.

It was our last day on the island and we had a lot to pack in. There was the walk through the forest with the young chimps we had filmed the day before, then Luke and Lawrence had a couple of cases with some poorly chimps before heading back to Entebbe at 1pm.

Just as we were about to enter the forest, wooosh!! Rain lashed down. Serious rain. Really, really wet rain. Within a couple of minutes we were soaked through and the chimpanzees weren’t liking it either. Six of us (4 crew and rangers) stood under a tree shivering, wondering whether to go back or not. My camera, despite it being covered was getting seriously wet and I was concerned that if it stayed out any longer it might damage it, which can happen and I didn’t want to jeopardize the rest of the shoot. I took the camera and the rest of the kit back to our tents, changed clothes and picked up my lumix pocket camera, which I had only bought two months before.

We joined the rest of the gang in the forest and proceeded to go on our little hike together with the chimpanzee’s who were merrily following us, getting up to tricks, making a nuisance of themselves and for a couple of them who were really lazy, getting piggy back rides. It was at this moment that I saw Luke giving a particularly heavy chimp a lift on his back, so I took out my pocket camera, put it on video mode and started to film him, but before I knew it, this hand came in and quick as a flash, snatched the camera out of my hands and then legged it off into the bushes. Nooooo! My £250 camera!! In the hands of a chimp!! What was I going to do!! As soon as I saw it banging it against a tree trunk, I knew I had no chance of getting out of there alive. It wasn’t until we got back over an hour later that one of the rangers managed to bribe the chimp with a banana that I got my smashed camera back.

YoYo the chimp did actually manage to take a picture of himself/ herself. This is it. Pretty good, eh?

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