Jamie and Burrito have a complicated relationship. Burrito is the man of the group, but Jamie is the boss. She often treats him like an annoying little brother. Sometimes she takes his food.
Early on, I’d say for the first year the Cle Elum Seven were at the sanctuary, Jamie would use Burrito during fights – I like to describe this and Jamie using Burrito as a henchman – Burrito would be all worked up and displaying, intimidating everyone, and Jamie would follow him as though she was saying to the rest of the group, “better watch out, he’s under my control.” But Burrito has wised up since then and tends to stay out of the fray more these days.
Though Jamie and Burrito do groom each other, they don’t really play together, and I wouldn’t describe them as friends (“frenemies” might be an appropriate term to use). This seems very personal to bring up, but we do get asked about it a lot, so here goes – I did see Burrito and Jamie in an intimate encounter once. Only once. And it was a long time ago. In fact, it is one of the only times we’ve seen that type of encounter between the chimps. It could be that Burrito just doesn’t see the ladies that way, or it could be that, like many captive chimpanzees, he is not sure what to do.
This fall, much to our surprise, these two frenemies would sometimes patrol the perimeter of Young’s Hill together (as seen at the end of this video). Maybe their relationship is evolving.
Today the sun was streaming into the windows upstairs and all seven chimps were on the catwalk. Burrito and Jamie sat next to each other: