Most of the chimpanzees here at the sanctuary are pretty “low-maintenance”. Give Foxie some dolls and she can entertain herself for hours. Jody’s thrilled with a huge pile of blankets. All Negra wants is some peace and quiet and a patch of sun.
But Jamie is not easy to please. It would be fair to say that all Jamie requires is the unceasing, devoted attention of her caregivers almost every moment of the day. She might demand more of us – more time, more attention – than the other six chimps combined.
It’s hard to imagine someone with a personality like Jamie’s surviving decades in a research lab, where she wasn’t in a position to demand anything of anyone. The chimps experienced a lot of firsts when they moved here: fresh air, sunshine, good food, warm blankets, friends. But I think for Jamie, the ability to make humans do things for her is just as important.
It’s our honor to be bossed around by her.