Fashion Month – Julie The Chimp

Since September is fashion month, I decided to write about animal fashion. No, I don’t mean animal print fabrics or other animal inspired clothing for human wear.  Instead, I thought it would be fun to celebrate an animal who started her own fashion trend.

Julie is an adult chimpanzee who lives in the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust Sanctuary in Zambia. In 2010, researcher Edwin van Leeuwen from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics noticed that Julie had a long, stiff piece of grass hanging from her ear. She liked to place it in one or both ears when she was grooming, resting or playing. Before long, many of the chimps in her group starting doing it. Her son Jack was the first, followed by other chimps that had close relationships with Julie.  Even after her death, a couple of the chimps have continued the tradition.

I have no idea of the origin of her desire to do this nor the deeper meaning beyond this fashion flair.  But, I think she looks beautiful. The grass reminds me of earrings. Here’s a link to her picture:






Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.