This morning, while Elizabeth and I were cleaning the playroom, Annie was sitting in the window. She playfully opened her mouth for a “drink of water” through the glass. She’s not the only chimpanzee at CSNW that we have witnessed play this game. We caught a short clip of it:
This reminded me of something I saw, but failed to get on camera a few weeks ago. Jamie was sitting on this small toy horse and scooting along the playroom floor. She then lifted her leg up high and over in an exaggerated dismount. Two things stood out to me- the first was how interesting it is to me that chimps engage in this type of pretend play, and second- how truly little we know about the chimps’ histories. She seemed to know exactly what she was doing when she “dismounted”. We suspect she was a “pet” prior to the lab, but was she raised by a cowboy (hence the boot obsession?), did she just see this on TV?, or was she taught to ride a horse at some point? We may never know, but it was a fascinating moment none the less.
Here’s a photo of the horse, for scale. 🙂