About Chimp Trainer's Daughter blogI started this blog in 2011, after author Shawn Thompson (The Intimate Ape) wrote about me and my dad in his blog. "A daughter's dark tale of abuse at the zoo chimp show: how kids and apes suffer together" introduced similarities that I wanted to explore and share, using my own peculiar (yet all too common) experiences in the 1950s and 1960s.
Over the months, I wrote about my personal experiences -- usually at my dad's hands, although not always -- with suicide, alcoholism, drug dependency, domestic violence, depression, and animal abuse. But focusing on the personal darkness for too long can be its own form of pathology, I came to discover. I found, for my own sanity, it is much better to write about problems and practical solutions for captive apes in the U.S. My early experiences and subsequent research could be a foundation for those blog posts.
I hope Chimp Trainer's Daughter adds to the national discussion about the compassionate care and respect that is long past due to America's chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans. I think dad would have wanted it that way.
Dawn (Brown) Forsythe
|Me and orangutan Lucy, at the Smithsonian National Zoo|