Grass is a favorite treat among all of the chimps, and this time of year is the best. Not only is the grass still young and what I can only imagine would be described as “tender” (I’m personally not a fan of grass), but they’ve spent all winter long waiting for it, so it’s always an exciting treat when they can finally have it again. I can’t wait until they can “harvest” their own on Young’s Hill!
Archives for May 2011
We don’t know exactly how old Negra is. Our records say she was captured in Africa in 1973, other records indicate 1968. As far as we know, she was immediately placed in a biomedical research facility in the United States after her capture. She remained the property of the biomedical industry until 2008.
We celebrate Negra’s birthday on June 13th, the day the chimpanzees arrived to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. The 3rd anniversary of the chimps’ arrival and Negra’s 38th (or so) birthday is just one month away!
Regardless of her exact age, Negra is not a young chimpanzee, and it’s always a joy to see breaking out into play. She and Foxie had been playing for several minutes before I could get to the camera. When I did start filming, Jamie was banging on the fencing and didn’t seem very pleased, but she soon decided to give up on reprimanding me and instead joined in on the play.
My favorite part of the video below is Negra’s foot stomp towards Jamie. Foot stomping is a common chimpanzee play behavior, but this is one of the very few times I’ve witnessed Negra do it.
Missy has done nothing but crack me up all day today! I posted a short version of the following story on Missy’s Facebook page this morning, but I thought I would share it here as well. When I arrived this morning, I was first greeted by Negra, who was sitting in her nest in her normal spot on the catwalk. With her blanket over her head, she looked over at me and gave me an approving head nod. At first, I thought everyone else was outside, but then I noticed someone else covered in blankets in the loft. All I could see was the top of their head so I really wasn’t sure who it was, and it was a bright and sunny morning, so it seemed strange that someone would still be in bed. After a couple of attempts at getting them to respond, I asked “Who goes there?” and Missy came flying out of her nest and began a rambunctious chase game with me. We made several laps around the chimp house, and then, just as fast as she jumped out of her nest, she dove face-first back into her nest, and did a headstand. She stayed in her headstand for several minutes laughing and playing with a toy and then jumped out and began chasing me again. And this is how she has been all day long. I couldn’t ask for a better play partner!
Big thanks to Jim, Audrey, Brian, a super hardworking group from Seattle’s Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN), and all of Saturday’s volunteers, we finished setting the poles for the primary fence yesterday!
J.B.’s secret hope is to get all of the poles in for the secondary fence next weekend, so now is the time to contact him to volunteer.
Take a look at some photos of the work yesterday:
Here’s one of my favorite new features of the hill – we’re calling this Missy’s tunnel:
Below is a photo of Karl, one of the NARN volunteers, testing out a firehouse swing. The chimps are going to have so much fun on the hill!