The routine of each chimp house day that we’ve established with the chimpanzees allows them to know what to expect, and allows us to do the eight+ hours of work efficiently. But it’s not just the humans who have their routines. I’m always delighted to participate or witness a chimpanzee-created routine, like Jody’s morning greeting or Foxie’s after dinner, casual “give and take the troll” game.
Jamie’s routine of walking around Young’s Hill is probably one of the most written about aspects of our chimp-driven activities, but there’s one aspect of the walks that I really love because it seems to give Jamie so much pleasure. She doesn’t always do it, but more often than not, when Jamie takes me on a walk (which is really the way it goes), there’s a spot on the far side of the hill where she will veer away from the perimeter. She’ll walk on the log bridge over there or wander in the bamboo. I usually walk a little further and then wait. When she’s done with her lone exploration, she comes barreling out, heading directly toward me. She doesn’t do this in an aggressive manner, though it was somewhat intimidating the first time I witnessed this; and I’m glad, for her sake and mine, that she is secure behind two tall electric fences. She just really seems to find it great fun to come out of hiding and run quickly towards her walking companion, and then continue the rest of the way around the perimeter.
I got a few photos of this today. They’re not award-winning images, but hopefully with the story behind them, you’ll have a better sense of what they are about.
Here’s an establishing photo to show what the landscape has looked like around the property for the last week or so. It’s not snow, it’s hoarfrost, the rather pretty cause of our power outage the other day. The cold temperature did not stop Jamie from walking around the hill twice today. These photos are from our second walk
Here’s Jamie leaving the perimeter:
and here she is bursting out of hiding: