On Saturday, the night of the Cle Elum Seven’s one year anniversary, Jackie and I were hanging out with the chimps after dinner and we witnessed two amazing things. I do not have photographic evidence of these events, but I was so glad that Jackie was there to also see them.
First, long after the other chimpanzees had finished eating, Jamie was still hanging onto a bit of cantaloupe. Jamie seemed content to delay finishing her fruit as she carefully inspected Jackie’s boot. After several minutes, Foxie came over. There were probably a dozen troll dolls that were part of the party enrichment, and Foxie had three of them with her, one that still had on a wedding dress. Foxie put this troll doll in Jamie’s free hand, while looking away. Foxie continued to hold onto the troll doll until Jamie’s fingers closed around the doll. Then Foxie pulled her hand away and very slowly and carefully took the cantaloupe that was sitting by Jamie. If you’re a regular blog reader, you know that Jamie is pretty possessive of her food, and she is the highest ranking chimpanzee. This means that other chimps, as a rule, generally do not take food from Jamie. But this really appeared to be a trade. Apparently troll dolls served as a version of currency between these two!
The second equally amazing thing that occurred also involved Foxie. Jackie and I were handing out blankets in the front rooms, and Foxie took one through the fencing. This in itself is a bit unusual, but not unheard of – sometimes she’ll playfully take blankets or clothes, and then drop them. Every once in a while she’ll play a quick game of tug of war. But Foxie took this blanket (a very big fleece one) and eventually climbed up to the bed in Room Four and began to nest!! The blanket was long and hanging off of the bed, and Jamie immediately came into the room and began to pull on the end hanging down. Foxie’s played for a bit, at one point trying to still nest by wrapping the blanket around her, while Jamie continued to pull on the blanket. After a while Foxie dropped the blanket and Jamie left. Then Foxie got up and walked into Room 2, passing several blankets along the way, and picked up a pink one. She carried the pink blanket back to the far room, went back to the bed, laid the blanket down, and laid down on top of it.
It was a beautiful sight to see, and so special that it happened one year to the day after she arrived at the sanctuary. I’m so excited for what year two will bring!!