J.B. and I had our second visit with the Buckshire Seven this past weekend. On our last visit, there were two chimpanzees who were rather aloof and mostly stayed in the background – Missy and Annie. This visit was quite the opposite.
After we were there for a bit and we had given out some kale (which Missy loves) and dried fruit, Missy engaged in a lot of play with us – stomping her feet and slapping her hands against the old tire that hangs in her cage. Once Annie saw Missy playing, she joined in too. It wasn’t long before they were playing with each other – their foreheads pressed together and their arms wrapped around each other, then separating and slapping each others hands, arms and shoulders. It feels really good to “transfer” play sessions this way, and I think it’s always a subconscious goal of mine to help foster play between chimpanzees. As I was watching Annie and Missy play I was imagining them in their new home in Cle Elum; I was picturing them on a platform in front of one of the windows laughing that breathy chimpanzee laugh and tickling each other.