When the bouncy bridge was first finished back in August, one of the first things I thought of was how cool it was going to be when we see the chimps playing chase on it. I still haven’t seen crazy rambunctious play on it yet, but the other day Missy did all she could to get Annie and Jody to play chase with her on it.
Archives for September 2012
Supporter Annie Norris has a best friend named Missy and was excited to learn that Annie and Missy of the Cle Elum Seven are also best friends. She said it was okay for us to share this little page she made of the BFFs. I took it a step further and dug up some other photos of the chimp best friends. Do you know any Annie & Missy best friends?
Just a quick update to let you know that, despite a minor setback from the Taylor Bridge Fire, we are making progress on Negra’s Cabin. The “cabin”, which will actually be a three-sided shelter with a transparent ceiling and walls, is the result of your contributions to our fourth anniversary fundraising drive. The shelter will provide a comfortable space for the chimps on the cold, windy, and wet days of spring and fall. We also hope that it will help chimps like Negra learn to spend more time out on the hill, as some chimps need a little more time to get comfortable being out in wide open spaces.
Our rough vision for the cabin:
And that vision slowly being realized:
We are building this with Negra in mind, but I am starting to think that Jody will be the first to move in and make a nest in a fluffy bed of straw. Hopefully, in a few weeks, we will get to find out.
The GoPro camera is interesting for the chimps—we’ve captured them licking it, poking it, and just in general investigating this weird thing that is understandably confusing and interesting. Well, setting it up to record is apparently not the easiest thing for all of us. Every time we collect video from the camera, the first shots are close-ups of the humans’ faces, which sometimes show confused expressions. I know that some people have deleted these possibly incriminating shots. As Jackie was making yesterday’s video with Jamie figuring out the camera for the first time, she was tempted to post this hilarious piece with me trying to also figure it out. She didn’t include for fear of embarrassing me, but I thought it was so funny and felt, “Why not let everyone enjoy this?!” So, here you go, a pretty embarrassing but hilarious video of my confused face.
Note: you’ll hear me say that I thought it was taking photos. The reason for this belief is that Sarah once set up the GoPro, thought it was recording video, but found later it just took pictures the whole time. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to tell if it was taking video or photos.
Seeing the chimps check out the GoPro camera still hasn’t gotten old… especially when it’s the boss who’s checking it out.
Jamie hasn’t inspected the GoPro like many of the other chimps have. It’s unusual because normally, as soon as we add something new to her environment, Jamie immediately does all that she can to try to tear it apart. But the other day, she decided it was time to get down to the bottom of this “strange object we keep putting in the enclosure”.
Each day after cleaning the chimpanzees’ enclosures, we set out a couple of baskets of new enrichment (toys, magazines, clothing, blankets, etc.). Aside from a couple of obvious favorites – Jamie and her cowgirl boots, Foxie and her troll dolls – it’s somewhat hard to predict what will be of interest to the chimps. A few days ago Burrito grabbed these flamingo boxers (courtesy of volunteer Becca) and initiated some crazy play with his caregivers.
It’s important to distinguish Burrito’s play with these boxer shorts from chimpanzees you might see in movies or on TV wearing clothes. Chimpanzees who “work” in the entertainment industry are often duct-taped into clothing and forced, through physical intimidation or abuse, to perform. (Check out Executive Director Sarah’s informative blog post on this topic here.) Burrito, on the other hand, is not forced to do anything. We work every day to give Burrito and the rest of the Cle Elum Seven as much choice as possible, and we love to see what choices they make.
Today we were pleased to have Kittitas County Fire District #1 from Thorp stop by the sanctuary to visit with the chimps. The crew, along with Kittitas County Fire District #7 (whom we hope to also have out someday soon), were the first to respond on the sanctuary property the day of the Taylor Bridge Fire. We were super happy to have them out again, this time on a much calmer note. The chimps were pretty enriched by their fancy Nomex wildland garb!
We’ll never be able to express to this crew how much they mean to us and how much we appreciate the hard work these and all of the firefighters did to help contain the Taylor Bridge Fire. You guys will always be heroes in our book!