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!!
Jeani Goodrich says
That just makes me cry tears of joy. The troll exchange was wonderful to hear but Foxie nesting is beyond words. Thank you so much for sharing this. And yes what a special way to end the one year anniversary day! Foxie, you are indeed loved and cherished.
That clever and fabulous Foxie!
The trolls are very multifaceted in this community’s culture! Cantalope is very valuable and Foxie is very brave! Dominance is fascinating!!
It’s almost like Foxie planned her nesting as part of the anniversary celebration, or maybe the celebration prompted the nesting….or…a cooincidence. Just musing…No matter….such good news, little and big healing steps mean so much.
I’m so proud of both Jamie and Foxie. It had to be hard for Jamie to have someone take food from her even if she had had her fill of food for the day. To have Foxie take food from Jamie must have been equally hard to accomplish. Foxie’s nest building is a great achievement and just a start in her nesting abilities that I know are untapped.
I have noticed the Foxie is starting to use more and different enrichment and Jamie seems to be more at ease with everyone………. I wonder if it’s the summer solstice at work?
Maybe troll dolls with clothing still attached are particularly desired by the chimps?
Some studies have been done with lesser monkeys in regards to using metal washers for food and sex exchange so I would imagine that troll dolls are not so far off either for an exchange.
Sounds to me exactly like a trade. What is fascinating is both these girls apparently understood that. How great is that?! Foxie nesting at last is heartwarming news. Everyday I look to forward to reading about their progress and seeing their beautiful faces. Sorry, Burrito, your handsome face. I can hardly wait to see what year two will bring!
Steph & Kurt says
Like Theresa said — it’s fascinating that Jamie and Foxie made a trade. What an amazing thing to witness — especially when you know how important food is to Jamie, and troll dolls to Foxie.
Love the blanket story too, everyone needs a cozy blanket at night to snuggle and nest in 🙂
Sara Lissabet says
I wonder if Jamie might have been a little more receptive of the trade because of the security of knowing she’ll be able to get more cantelope soon? Perhaps in the wild the troll doll would not have been the commodity in trading that it was in this instance? So wonderful for Foxie to attempt this, and deferring by looking away from Jamie and waiting until she got the positive signal. These two gals happen to be my favorites and I really enjoyed this story between the two.
I can’t wait to see photos of the kinds of nests Foxie is building in a year from now!