One of things that you learn pretty quickly about the unique experience of working as a chimpanzee caregiver is that flexibility is indispensable. There is a daily routine, of course, but whenever you are working with living beings with distinct personalities and preferences there is always the possibility that someone will want something else, something different from the normal. Accommodating the needs and wants of seven different chimpanzees all at the same time can be a challenge and it requires a certain adaptability!
In addition to taking the needs of the chimpanzees into consideration, environmental circumstances can also contribute to a fast paced, ever changing work setting. Sometimes weather helps to determine the course of the day or, on occasion, we find ourselves with unexpected visitors to the sanctuary. For example, today we assisted in a relocation program for a friendly neighborhood frog during afternoon cleaning.
All of which is to say that today offered us plenty of opportunity to practice creative care-giving but, as a result, provided little inspiration for a blog post. In a flash at lunchtime I decided to capture the chimpanzees as they dined in the greenhouse as the weather and lighting were quite captivating and lunch is my favorite meal of the day. Some days you just have to improvise!
Later, as the afternoon became quite muggy, Katelyn served some carrot juice ice cubes as a refreshing surprise.