Chimpanzees are powerful, intelligent, adaptable, and sometimes aggressive wild animals. They do not belong in people’s homes as pets. They do not belong on training compounds used for television shows, music videos, movies and advertisements.
They belong in equatorial Africa where they live in large social groups, foraging and hunting their own food.
When that’s not possible, when where they belong has been taken away, and when they have been born into and grown up in captivity, a sanctuary is the best option for them. And sanctuary means taking the individual chimpanzees on their own terms and letting them find things they enjoy – things that may be very far from the image of the wild animals who they are.
For Foxie, that means dolls. It’s not that she is like a human child, or even that she’s using the dolls as substitute children (though maybe that’s part of it, given her history). Foxie has found something she likes, something that entertains and comforts her.
Foxie is still very much a powerful, intelligent, adaptable, and sometimes aggressive chimpanzee.
And Jamie too. I can’t imagine too many things more silly than a troll scarf, but Jamie manages to wear a troll scarf while at the same time projecting the strong chimpanzee that she is.