After days, weeks really, of endless snow and treacherous commutes for staff and volunteers alike, this morning dawned a new day. Achingly gorgeous clear, blue skies, a pink sunrise with bald eagles flying overhead, glittering snow, and much to the caregivers’ delight, clear (and dare I say almost dry!) roads to drive to work on. The quintessential beautiful winter day:
The chimpanzees, especially Jamie, have been real troopers waiting out the snow. So first thing this morning, Diana, Anna and I decided to shovel some walkways and around Young’s Hill and line them with straw for the chimpanzees to venture out. All the chimps had been watching us intently from the playroom windows and when we stepped back into the greenhouse, Jamie was more than ready to get a look at what we had done.
When I gave the chimps access to Young’s Hill, Jamie was ready and waiting and literally squeezed through the doorway as it was opening. She immediately headed onto the hill, grabbing the toy shovel we had left on her way and headed out to help finish clearing the pathways.
And it wasn’t long before she had a back-up snow removal crew member with Annie! Annie! Can you believe it?! (The other chimps were watching from the raceway while sitting in the sun):
Jamie initially started shoveling with the shovel side down and then tried out the handle. The second I reminded her to turn it back around she did and carried on with her snow removal project.
That’s their breath clouding around Annie:
When Jamie was satisfied (and probably a little cold!) she headed back inside, but Annie decided to enjoy the morning sun for a view minutes on her own.
Once she’d had enough of the cold morning she headed back to the warmth of the greenhouse. I don’t know what we humans would do without some help from these amazing chimpanzee people:
The chimpanzees and humans have been so incredibly fortunate this holiday season, our hearts and sanctuary home filled with the kindness and generosity of all of you. I would like to share another very special gift the chimpanzees received! The amazing children of Ms. Horton’s 5th grade class made this Christmas tree and each beautiful, heartfelt ornament on it. We are so touched that they all would take the time and care to make the chimpanzees such an awesome gift for Christmas and send it all the way from Texas! We hung it up right outside the chimpanzees’ front rooms where they can all enjoy looking at it. Thank you so much!!