It’s been an unusually mild winter so far. It’s been pretty cold, but we just haven’t had much snow. It’s been great in a way, because the chimps have been able to spend more time out on the hill (we can’t give them the hill if the snow gets too deep because it will drain the fence voltage). But we did get a little bit of snow last night, and since the chimps love to eat snow so much, I was eager to give them Young’s Hill as soon as possible today before it all melted.
Before we let the chimps out on the hill each day, the lead caregiver does a perimeter check by walking or driving the Gator all the way around to check for any issues with the electric fence. The chimps are very aware of this routine and usually get a little excited when we turn on the walkie-talkies and head out for our hike around the hill. Each morning, as I pass the east side of the building, I look into the picture windows to see what’s happening in the playroom. Usually I’ll see Negra curled up in her spot with a blanket over her head and maybe Missy and Foxie grooming and such, but today, I saw bouncy feet and an enthusiastic head nod. Annie (bouncy feet) and Missy (head nodding) were so excited to get out there! I looked at Missy and pointed towards the hill (assuming she wouldn’t be able to hear me if I spoke) and she started running towards the door to Young’s Hill.
But when I opened the door, no one went out. There was a long, long pause before finally, Missy, Annie, Foxie, Jody, and then Jamie went out. The sun was out but the wind had picked up and it was COLD! Even still, once they got themselves out there, they hung out there for 45 minutes or so. I was all bundled up in a sweatshirt, jacket, gloves, warm boots, and still freezing, so I can’t even imagine how cold their toes were!