It is a beautiful, sunny day at the sanctuary, but looks can be deceiving. We’ve only made it up to 27 degrees with a wind chill of 15. It’s very still and quiet outside and even the birds seem to be hunkered down out of the cold.
“Negra’s Valley” that she loves to watch over from her nest and the view from Young’s Hill:
If you are new to the blog, Young’s Hill is the chimpanzees’ 2-acre outdoor enclosure and the chimpanzees have access to it year round (providing the voltage on the electric fence stays in our established security perimeters). While the chimps don’t care to spend a lot of time outside in extreme temperatures hot or cold, the option is there as their choice to make. And if you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you know that it takes some pretty significant weather conditions to keep Jamie from her Young’s Hill perimeter walks. But today was not one of them. Jamie has walked (or more accurately, ran) around the hill with her caregivers five times in these temperatures!
All the other chimpanzees spent their day nesting, grooming, and playing in front of every available sunny window so everyone stayed nice and toasty. And it took awhile to “warm up” enough outside before even Jamie would brave the hill:
Here a caregiver is offering to go on a walk with Jamie and she sees her favorite boots:
She spent a few minutes pondering but decided she was up for it:
There was a lot of poking her head out the door to test the waters so to speak, but once she set her mind to it she was off! Which meant the caregivers had to run to catch up with her! Jamie has a will and determination unlike anyone I know. Head into the wind, she wasn’t deterred:
We passed a herd of deer at the top of the hill, but Jamie had no time to bother with them:
Once we got to the other side of the hill where we were less protected from the wind Jamie decided we needed to pick up the pace. And I have to say I agreed. We ran all the way back to the greenhouse and warm blankets fresh from the dryer:
In extreme temperatures we trust Jamie to make her own choices about going for walks or not. That said, given her determination we closely monitor temperatures, and Jamie, to make sure she stays safe and healthy. Rain, shine, snow or wind, Jamie makes the most of each day in sanctuary. And we couldn’t be happier to be running along side of her.