It’s hard to remember, but the space that we now call the greenhouse used to be the chimpanzees’ only outdoor area.
Karen and Don Young visited in 2009, and we conceived the idea of encasing the caging in removable polycarbonate panels so that the chimpanzees could enjoy this space year round! The Youngs kicked off donations for this project and we raised the rest of the greenhouse funds at our 2009 auction.
Construction began in late 2009 and early 2010 (because what better time to embark on a construction project than winter?!). Those were some cold construction days, as Jim Spencer I’m sure still remembers.
The result for the chimpanzees was so worth it! The greenhouse is their favorite area year round.
When the weather starts to warm up in the spring, J.B. removes some of the panels, leaving the roof, so the chimpanzees enjoy their summer lounging in an indoor-outdoor space.
Then, around this time of year (today, for example), J.B. buttons up the greenhouse for the winter, so the chimpanzees can enjoy the cooler months in the protected area that heats up with the rays of the sun, or, in the case of today, keeps out the rain.
Today, Jamie enjoyed nesting and napping up high on the platform today, where it’s warmest, as it poured and blew outside:
And, of course, she also ventured onto Young’s Hill during breaks in the rain.