In many ways, Burrito is a typical male chimpanzee. He can be blustery and macho. His loud, boisterous displays often involve him swatting the girls as he charges by them, hair standing on end.
Still, there is something innocent about him. After living for decades in lab cages with extremely limited contact with others of his species, he has encountered many obstacles on the road to understanding chimp behavior. It seems that he genuinely cannot imagine why the girls would get angry with him when he acts out against them during displays. After hitting someone and inciting their wrath, he has been seen running to that individual for a hug of reassurance – asking for reassurance, not giving it.
When the other chimps give him submissive greetings, instead of receiving them graciously, he squeezes his eyes shut and looks the other way. Whatever he is feeling in these moments looks a lot like social anxiety.
Considering how uncomfortable he can sometimes be around the other chimps, it is always inspiring to see him try. And he does try. Joining the others in a grooming session or accompanying Jamie on a perimeter walk will probably always give him a little anxiety, but he is determined to keep pushing his own boundaries.