The chimpanzees are ready to harvest their garden! The garden, however, is still growing. But try telling that to the chimpanzees. Thanks to the hard work of volunteer caregiver, Denice, it’s really starting to take off!
And Jamie is keeping a close watch on it. Every single day:
This is what Jamie has her eye on from atop her barrel at the barn doors:
Every day Jamie and Missy in particular look out the windows and emphatically gesture toward something they would like to taste. So far we’ve been able to oblige the chimpanzees’ requests with chives, strawberries and today, onions! Jamie takes in the view of the garden, sliding from window to window on top of her barrel by pulling herself along the walls:
Or if you’re Missy, you balance on a tire while checking out the garden:
The garden not only helps us supplement the chimps’ diet and adds beauty to their home, but as you can see, it also provides great enrichment for them. It’s a wonderful thing for them to be able to ask for something they see and for us to be able to harvest it for them.
Much to the chimpanzees’ delight, volunteer caregiver, Erin, was able to serve them onions from the garden today at lunch. You should have heard the never-ending happy foot grunts from Jamie:
Jody was so excited she was a little pilo (hair standing on end) and reaching out to get Erin’s attention for more:
Having a more dominant position in the hierarchy, Jody thought she would also help herself to Negra’s onion. You can see Negra (left) with a fear grimace reaching out in a submissive manner to touch Jody, asking permission to keep her onion. While this is a normal part of chimpanzee society, it’s actually pretty rare that anyone decides to take anything from Negra. She seems to fall outside the hierarchy and maintains a level of respect from the other chimps overall. It must be her role as queen! But the garden onions elicited quite a bit of excitement and Jody was unswayed by Negra’s royal status.
But of course, there was enough to go around and Negra was able to enjoy some onions along with everyone else:
After all that excitement, Annie cuddled up with a blanket for a peaceful afternoon nap in the warm breeze: