One of the first things I do after arriving at the chimp house is to walk around the various enclosures to see where all of the chimpanzees are at and to greet them. Sometimes the chimps are still in their blanket nests that they made the previous night. Sometimes, they are wide awake; chasing one another along the upstairs catwalk or through the Front Rooms. At other times, they may be lined up along the caging to give morning kisses, head nods (a typical chimpanzee greeting) or to elicit games of chase with staff and volunteer caregivers.
This morning, Jamie was the first one I saw in the Playroom area of their home. I gave her a couple of quick head nods, which she reciprocated before gesturing to see my shoes. Burrito sat down next to her and slapped the floor a few times to elicit a quick game of chase. Foxie was busy getting drinks from the fountain, while holding onto her dora doll. Jody came up to where I was standing and extended her lips through the caging to offer me a kiss on the back of my hand. Annie and Missy were busy playing chase with one another. I looked into the pile of blankets on the catwalk where Negra typically makes her nightly nest, but it was empty. So, I went out to the Greenhouse portion of their home and found her on the top platform (another favorite spot of hers).
I gave her a quick verbal “Good morning Neggie.” She turned around to look at me momentarily before going back to what she was doing.
Oh, how I love this lady. I’ll take her quick glance toward me as a morning greeting and be forever thankful.
And, I just couldn’t resist sharing the following photos on today’s blog, as well. I think you’ll understand why when you see them. They were taken during this morning’s breakfast forage in the Greenhouse.