Volunteer Katelyn is in training to be a caregiver. We like to think of training as not only a time to teach people about chimp behaviors and how to safely interact with the chimpanzees, but it’s also a time to foster new friendships. The process usually takes several months beginning with the trainee sticking close to the trainer until gradually the trainer gets further and further away and the trainee gains more independence. It’s a fun process to watch, especially when you watch the chimps become more and more comfortable with the person, and watching their friendship begin. That’s what I witnessed today with Katelyn. She hasn’t had many interactions with the chimpanzees, but today we spent a good deal of time interacting with almost everybody! We played tug of war with Missy and a sock, and Annie came over and tickled the back of Katelyn’s hand– a rare treat! Later, we spent some quality time with Foxie in the greenhouse. Foxie was so playful! She literally rolled the entire length of the deck during a chase game– a sure sign that Katelyn going to be a fun friend.
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