Hi everyone! My name is Whitney and I am filling in for Keri as a temporary staff caregiver for the chimpanzees while she is on maternity leave. I began volunteering at CSNW about two years ago, and one of my favorite things about coming here is witnessing the chimpanzees’ confidence grow.
Today was no exception. As background to this story, any time we enter part of the chimpanzees’ enclosure to clean, every staff member, intern, and volunteer present in the building must perform a series of safety checks before the room in question can be unlocked. Part of the checks involve visually identifying all seven chimpanzees in rooms other than the one we want to enter.
This morning I went to identify the chimpanzees so we could enter the playroom for cleaning, and after extensive searching I could only find two of them in the building. Lo and behold, five of the seven were way out on the hill! It took some time, but I eventually saw Burrito, Jody, Missy, Foxie, and Annie as they explored the hill, occasionally appearing between bamboo and climbing up their magnificent climbing structures. I remember that just two years ago it was a delightful surprise to see any of the Seven out exploring the hill, even close to the greenhouse, and now it seems to be a daily occurrence that they are not only on the hill but are now confident enough to explore their home far and wide.
I couldn’t get any pictures while they were out on the hill this morning, but here are a few of my favorites from this afternoon. Some grooming, some lunch, some play time with friends.
Annie (right) grooming her best friend Missy (left):
Burrito, caught in a rare playful mood (just kidding, he’s almost always in a playful mood):
Foxie grooming her foot:
Jamie, ever inventive, enjoyed her lunch at a makeshift table: