Negra reminds me of comfort. She has favorite foods, sleeping spots, and outdoor temperatures. An early morning ritual that caregivers enjoy with Negra is the wrist kiss and grass request. When temperatures are warm, we will usually find her sleeping under a blanket on the top platform in the greenhouse. She will usually greet us with a gentle kiss on the wrist (her prehensile lips extend outside the caging) and then immediately clap her hands. I learned early on that this was an appeal for a couple fresh sprigs of grass that are growing just beyond the chimpanzee’s reach. “Queen” Negra will munch on the grass and go back to bed where she waits in her nest for us to present her with an offering of peanuts. We have hopes that she will accept the offering and shift into the building so we can close off the greenhouse for cleaning. Negra knows what she likes and she sticks to it.
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