We are supposed to have a big winter storm headed our way tomorrow, but today has been dry and sooooooo cold, remaining well below freezing all day. So the chimps have been hunkered down in the toasty chimp house for the most part. They are handling it like troopers, but it can be extra challenging to try to pre-empt the inevitable boredom that comes with being stuck inside all day. So it’s in our mind throughout the day to come up with new, interesting, and even silly things.
One way to break up any tedium is for the humans to act as enrichment and attempt to entertain the chimps. So volunteer caregiver, Holly, and I took turns wearing a vibrant purple wig she brought in. Sometimes we get mixed reactions. Jamie will often look us up and down and just stare at us as if to express how embarrassed she is for us given our foolish behavior. Foxie will sometimes spit at us. And sometimes they will completely ignore us. But the wig was a hit with all today and had Foxie hanging upside down laughing and kicking the ceiling with her feet! Burrito was full of kisses for us and Missy thought it was pretty hilarious. Even the boss gave several head-nods of approval. So naturally, I had to have ever-the-good-sport Holly don the wig for lunch service. It’s the little things…:
Holly serving Jamie as Annie and Jody wait patiently:
Jody, Annie and Jamie (and Holly, of course):
After lunch, Jamie decided freezing temps or not, we were going for a walk. Missy is a good right-hand gal to Jamie and reluctantly, braved the cold with her. Missy kept stopping to wait for Annie who gave it a go, but in the end stood huddled with her arms wrapped around herself and then hightailed it bipedally back to the warm chimp house:
So Jamie and Missy and I carried on:
By the time we reached the downhill back to the chimp house we all decided to pick up the pace:
When it’s below 20 at night we close off the greenhouse to help maintain heat in the chimp house overnight. And the chimps wouldn’t be out there when it’s this cold anyway. After a warm dinner of roasted acorn squash, mini-peppers and onions along with peanut butter and banana inside cups for evening enrichment, and extra blankets still warm from the dryer, everyone is settled inside for the night. Jamie just asked for her favorite boots to sleep with and I just turned off the chimps’ lights. Everyone is tucked into their nests safe, warm and cozy for the night. So goodnight from the chimp house!