We have been learning a lot about all of the chimpanzees over the last few days. Jamie is quite amazing. She figured out the lazy susan feeding doors in about 2 sec. She really enjoys the enrichment that we’ve been giving out – she’s spent many hours cleaning with the brushes and big buckets of soapy water that we have given her. The second day we left the bucket in room two. When the chimpanzees were let back into that room, Jamie immediately went for the bucket – ignoring all of the fruit that we had also left in the room, which is pretty remarkable because she loves fruit and can get angry if someone else gets an apple or orange that she wants. Instead, she protected the bucket and would not let any of the other chimpanzees near it until she had tired of cleaning – which took over an hour. She was very focused and thourough in her cleaning, concentrating on one concrete step for a long time, then washing a mug in her bucket as though it were a sink.Today, Sarah and J.B. report that Jamie tied a bow – she took a piece of string, put it around her neck, and tied it into a bow. These things indicate that Jamie was raised in a very human environment prior to being sold to Buckshire. We hope to find out more. Although it is a testament to their intelligence and ability to learn, it always saddens me a bit when chimpanzees do things which they only could have learned in a human environment. It makes me wonder how Jamie views herself and if she once saw herself as a human, or perhaps still does. We as humans have taken away ‘normal’ chimpanzee culture by raising chimpanzees in captivity, and often we replace that with aspects of our own culture, so the chimpanzee is left with no place to really fit in.On a positive note, we will be working hard to keep Jamie occupied and interested in her surroundings and we will provide her with her favorite things as we learn what they are.Diana
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