Supporter and friend Tamela recently sent the chimps an incredible (and huge!) care package with all sorts of goodies. Foxie’s favorite gift was the doll featured in the video below. It’s always a little bittersweet to see Foxie exhibit such natural mothering behavior given her impoverished history, but it’s so rewarding to be able to provide her with another chance.
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I just love her she hugs it. She would have been such a good Mom.
Candy (Tyler, Texas) says
Tamela, I’ve seen your name and donations you’ve made to other chimpanzee sanctuaries and individuals raising money for chimpanzee causes. I think the chimpanzee community is VERY lucky to have you as a benefactor. You always send just the right gift that makes the CE7 happy, not only do they benefit from the gifts but we enjoy watching them enjoy their gift. Thank you, Tamela.
I love how the group seems to know that when there’s a new doll that it’s for Foxie. I loved the way Jody let Foxie take her, then Foxie placed her, face first, into her chest, as if she was a chimp baby. I couldn’t help but chuckle when Foxie went outside and sat, hidden, so she could check out her new doll, without interruption. I know this may sound a little odd, but I like to hear Foxie’s fingernails clicking when she’s grooming a doll.
Elizabeth, I liked what you said about “giving her a chance to exhibit her natural mothering ability,” we can all tell that she’s very happy when she has her baby dolls. I was thinking, have any other sanctuaries reported this kind of response about other chimps mothering dolls in such a way?
That was love and joy on Foxie’s face, pure and simple. Tamela, the chimps are so lucky to have you on their side!
Margaret and Karen says
How beautiful to see Foxie so happy with a new baby to care for. Dear dear Foxie.
That is the sweetest video. I love the way she is trying to figure out what’s with the pigtails.
I enjoyed this so much! I loved how she was admiring the doll’s skirt ;)~
this just breaks my heart.
Margaret and Karen says
I know what you mean Cynthia.
Barbara Boekholt says
I wept. Barbara Boekholt
Candy (Tyler, Texas) says
I happened to read an older post and Foxie had just received another doll and took it outside for a private introduction. Does she always go to the same spot or just outside anywhere?
chilmp pal says
Happiness is being a chimp pal and knowing their feelings are being respected and tended to. Thanks to Tamela, the donor.
Question: How would foxie react to a plush toy?
It just kills me that Foxie had so many babies stolen from her, right before her eyes, for so many years.
I hope that you can find maybe a one year old baby chimp and let Foxie adopt it. It has been done at the Kansas City Zoo and at Save the Chimps successfully. Or, would that cause chaos in the group and danger for any potential chimp baby?
Deanna Wood says
Tamela you are so sweet & wonderful! The chimps are so lucky to have you in their lives. I love it! How sweet that she takes her doll aside to a privte place to get t know her.
Candy – Foxie takes her dolls to different spots – sometimes on the ledge in the outdoor area, sometimes in the corner as she did with this doll.
MS – It would likely be very difficult to introduce a chimpanzees baby to this group, and the baby could be in potential danger. Interestingly, when we have given the chimpanzees stuffed chimpanzees, Jody and Foxie have attacked them violently. That is not necessarily an indication of what would happen with a an actual infant, anymore than this video is an indication of how Foxie would treat a chimpanzee infant.
Foxie’s mothering instincts are strong, and we feel it’s good to give her the opportunity to express those instincts as long as it doesn’t upset her. But she also does seem to recognize that the troll dolls and other dolls are inanimate objects and part of what she frequently does is rhythmically hit them with other objects.
Of course we would only consider rescuing chimpanzees if they were in need and we were the most viable option, which is an unlikely scenario at this point given our limitations on space. We would consult with experts to assess whether an individual would fit with the group. At this point, it would have to be a very specific “match” that introduction experts would be confident would work. It can be very tricky to bring in a new chimpanzee of any age to an established group.
I love watching our Foxie enjoy her babies but it brought tears to my eyes thinking about how traumatic it had to have been for her when her own babies were taken away. I also love the way you all encourage that nurturing side of her. It makes her happy and it’s lovely to watch.
Tamela, you are true chimp lover and a lovely person. The Cle Elum 7 are so lucky to have you! Hugs to you!
Thank you all for the kind words! I think I’m the lucky one to be able to get to know the chimps, their caregivers, and their wonderful supporters, even if it’s from a distance.