There is no denying that Burrito is one of the sweetest guys around. I mean, just look at this face. When he wants to play with us he will often try to pass toys or scarves through the caging for us. The other day he happened to pull up a flower and hand it to me and then offered me a kiss. Now he may or may not have been just grabbing what was in reach, but nevertheless, my heart melted. And there are the raucous games of chase and tug of war. During one particularly spirited game the other day he started laughing so hard he fell over backwards! Which, of course, made me laugh so hard I had tears coming down my face.
But just like all of us, Burrito has many sides to his personality. When we open the door to the chimp area in the morning he typically displays loudly and vigorously, rattling the caging, charging through the playroom clapping, throwing things, and pant hooting at the top of his lungs, getting all the ladies stirred up. He has also been known to bang relentlessly on the caging throughout meal time, and upon occasion, will even try to poke us as we are serving none other than the Boss, Jamie. Mind you, we are the ones who get in trouble from Jamie for this. And with me being one of the newest staff members here at CSNW he also likes to let me know his opinion of my new ability to move and unlock doors. There have been many a morning that as I am opening or closing doors in the chimpanzee areas that he climbs up the caging directly in front of me, bangs, and spits water (with excellent aim I might add) right in my eye. I know, who could believe such stories of this sweet man chimp? But all of this is normal, healthy, male chimpanzee behavior. Burrito is reminding me that this is his home and that just because I have the keys does not mean I am in charge. It means that he feels safe and secure enough to claim this as his territory. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.