One of our primary goals here at the sanctuary is to allow and encourage the chimpanzees to act like chimpanzees, in as many ways as possible. A big part of being a chimp is being around other chimps – something that many lab chimps are denied. As much as we caregivers love playing, grooming, and just hanging out with our chimp friends (and we’re always there for them if they want our company), we always prefer to see them enjoying the company of other chimps.
Some chimps, like Missy, tend to prefer chimp company over human company, while others, like Burrito, usually seek out humans to play with. So it’s especially rewarding to see a guy like Burrito just be a chimp with other chimps.