Jamie is never one to shy away from adventure. If you are one of Jamie’s Chimpanzee Pals, you received an email from Katelyn yesterday with an update on some of her summer antics. One notable antic is Jamie’s frequent decision during the summer to stay out on the hill post-dinner, past the time we usually close it up for the night.
All of the staff have been staying late here and there to join Jamie on her post-dinner walks until she decides it’s time to go to bed, which is usually long after the other chimpanzees have bedded (nested?) down for the night.
Because J.B. and I live on the property, we often relieve the other staff at a certain point and take over so they can go home. This is what happened a few days ago. Katelyn had stayed a little over an hour beyond her designated shift, and I came up to the chimp house to watch over things.
Jamie immediately wanted to go on a walk, with me wearing her latest favorite black cowboy boot.
Sometimes Jamie’s walks seem goal-oriented and efficient: patrol the fence line and return to the greenhouse; but her late evening walks tend to be more exploratory, and she meanders off the path of the fence. Such was her mood the other night.
She got to the top of the hill and decided to jump up on one of the log bridges:
And walk to the end of the log:
Then sit on the other end:
And look into the distance:
Do a little self-grooming:
And sit some more, contentedly (I love a content Jamie!):
Then, she was ready to continue the patrol around the hill. When we got to the South side of the building, we discovered two of the neighbor’s cattle close by:
Jamie went into “defend the property mode”:
Which worked quite well:
Then it was back to the chimp house, and on to the next adventure, like foraging for lunch today:
It’s still difficult to fathom that this adventuresome, headstrong, curious and extremely intelligent chimpanzee lived for so long the way she did in her previous life as an entertainer and biomedical laboratory research subject, but she certainly knows how to make up for lost time, and we couldn’t be happier to watch her do it.