Jamie, the birthday girl:
When one’s mission in life is to stay in motion, to go from point A to point B, running as fast as one can, climbing everything in sight, exploring new structures and tightrope walking (well, in this case it’s fire hose walking), it can be hard to get good closeup pictures. Do you know which chimpanzee I am describing? I’ll give you a hint, she was one of the chimps featured in yesterday’s blog.
If you guessed Missy, then you are right!!
Be sure to stay tuned for the Jamieween celebration (Jamie’s birthday and Halloween combined) happening tomorrow!
Today was a great day!
Way back in the spring, Charlie Nickerson of Troop 80 in Seattle contacted J.B. about doing his eagle scout project to help the sanctuary. We’re not able to say yes to all requests we get from people interested in doing volunteer projects like this, but we had just had a bunch of fire hose donated, so J.B. got Charlie started on the idea of making some fire hose hammocks to add to the interest of Young’s Hill.
A whole group of people joined in the hanging of the two awesome new hammocks, including other members of Troop 80, Shawn (J.B.’s new right-hand maintenance volunteer), John, and two CWU students – Ruth and Kyle.
It was pouring when they arrived this morning, so the chimps didn’t mind not having access to their outdoor habitat. The team worked outside in the wet weather with J.B. while volunteer Rachel and I cleaned up the chimp house.
In addition to the two new hammocks, the group also hung fire hose in various areas on the hill, connecting structures to each other.
Luckily, by the time they were finished with all of this manual labor, the weather had cleared up. So, the hardworking team spread a forage on the hill for the chimps and watched all seven chimpanzees forage for their lunch and explore the new features of their habitat.
I took what seemed like hundreds of photos of the chimps enjoying these new features and foraging, and I’ve narrowed down a couple of series to share in this blog post.
You probably know that we celebrate Jamie’s birthday on Halloween, which is just a few days away, but Missy might have thought all the new fire hose was a present just for her.
I am calling the below series of photos: “A Missy in Motion Tends to be the Best Thing Ever.”
Here is Missy standing next to Annie. Take a moment to admire Missy’s thigh muscles:
In her element, Missy tightrope walking and otherwise using existing and newly hung fire hose to traverse all over the hill:
Later in the day, Missy discovered some food cleverly hidden in new fire hose wrapped around a log post:
Every once in a while, she would stop to rest:
But not for long! Here she is climbing into one of the new hammocks:
I’d say it’s a hit:
This next series of Jamie I am calling, “Perfect Dismount”
A very cleverly hung piece of hose that Jamie couldn’t resist trying out:
Annie may have found her new favorite hangout:
Burrito explored a new hammock by himself later in the day:
And then he peeked at us from the lookout:
Thanks to everyone who helped make the day a great one, including all of you reading and sharing this – your support makes every day great!
Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Ingrid Bischoff in memory of her father, David Bischoff. Ingrid is a wonderful new friend of the chimpanzees’ and we are truly touched that she would think of them in honoring her father. Ingrid shared this beautiful message about today:
“My father, David Bischoff, from Yarmouth, Maine USA recently passed away and he is the man who taught his entire family the love of nature and animals, to respect the earth, pick up trash and ALWAYS take care of any and all animals in need and to always feed the birds, every day! He was a generous man and supported nature conservatories, donkeys, dogs, elephants, harbor seals and now chimpanzees!!!! He would love this day in his honor and thank you so much for doing all the hard work, giving is easy.”
Ingrid, thank you so much for sponsoring today for the chimpanzees as you honor your father, David, and celebrate his life. What a special legacy he shared with you and your family, and now, all of us. We are honored to celebrate David here today and welcome you both as members of our chimp family. Our thoughts and hearts are with you today and we wish you the comfort, peace and love of family and friends that you help to ensure the chimpanzees are surrounded with for all their days forward.
Foxie, Annie and Burrito:
Burrito, Jody, and Foxie:
Beloved friends, Missy and Annie:
Negra and Jody:
Jamie enjoying the sun setting over Young’s Hill:
Despite Burrito’s best efforts, the girls still don’t treat him as the alpha of the group. I wonder why…
We give the chimpanzees all kinds of toys to play with each day, but sometimes something as simple as a cardboard box does the trick.
Walking into the chimp house this morning we declared it “Thunderdome.” Or perhaps “Chimpdome” is more appropriate. In other words, the chimps were loud, riled up, arguing and being, well, chimps. We have mentioned before that it’s our goal with the blog to share the chimps’ lives and their natural behavior with you in a balanced, realistic and educational manner. And generally speaking, the chimps spend their days just as you see, playing, nesting, grooming, exploring and eating in a relatively mellow (if you’re a chimp) manner. And as you may be aware, it’s also very normal chimp behavior for them to be extra exuberant, argue and fight, but more often than not, we don’t have the foresight to grab the camera at those times to share with you. And today was no exception.
As the weather changes and colder, wetter days set in the chimps often initially react to the sudden changes in routine in much the same manner we do when we suddenly find ourselves stuck inside more often. Especially if we’re confined with friends and/or family members, it’s easier for tensions to build. And today the chimps spent the better part of the day hooting, hollering, screaming, arguing and fighting with one another over a variety of grievances and perceived injustices. Shortly after lunch, the chimps seemed to reach boiling point with whatever was going on between them and a particularly loud and wild rumpus of a fight broke out and even made it’s way onto Young’s Hill in the rain. (Don’t worry, no one was injured or harmed). Even Negra, who typically avoids such scenarios, had something to say and threw a plastic plate at Burrito.
When fights break out between the chimpanzees the humans stay out of it. It’s the chimps’ business and it’s of utmost importance that they work it out between themselves without us adding to the issues. Fights don’t usually last long and typically resolve with everyone in a big grooming pile re-establishing their bonds. What we humans do during fights is plug our ears (screaming chimps are ear-splittingly loud) and calmly as possible follow and observe them so that we can be aware of the dynamics of the group, who the fight was between (which often morphs and changes as the fight continues) and if anyone incurs any injuries. No, it’s not always easy to watch, but the more you become familiar with chimp behavior, you realize it’s more often than not a lot of bluster, chasing and yelling. The chimps don’t often even make contact with one another.
After airing all their grievances the chimps went to their respective corners and spent the rest of the rainy afternoon in their individual nests, no one speaking to one another. But chimps being the social beings they are, spending time alone after fighting means things haven’t been resolved. So Anna, JB and I monitored from afar and after a long afternoon of silence, the chimps finally huddled together in groups, grooming and making up. Just in time for dinner. 🙂
While the chimps took a time out from one another, I managed to get a few photos. Here’s Foxie enjoying a bucket of warm berry tea from an earlier tea forage:
Jamie perusing a new magazine from her nest:
Burrito, yawning and resting up:
The chimps enjoyed a peaceful dinner and after we took a few runs (literally) around Young’s Hill before dark with Jamie, they are each tucked into their nests for the night, lights out and back to a peaceful state. For the time being. I suspect we will all sleep well tonight.
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Cle Elum, WA 98922
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