It’s finally here! Our biggest fundraiser of the year, our annual Hoot! Gala and Spring Fling celebration! And while the humans are on their way to one of the most unique and exciting parties in the city, they aren’t the only people partying. The chimps are having their own celebration with a dinner of field roast and roasted sweet potato on a bed of lettuce and cabbage, sparkling cider, and a huge forage with sweet onions, corn on the cob, and fresh coconuts:
On this one day of the year, we have to get the chimps settled in earlier than usual so that staff working in the chimp house have time to get spiffed up and head to the gala. Routine and the comfort and security of knowing what to expect are important to the chimps and we don’t want to veer from that more than necessary or have them getting bored with a little more time on their hands, so a sure fire way to keep everyone active, happy and engaged is to set out an exciting forage cut into teeny, tiny pieces.
Annie sitting in a field of forage:
Burrito was beside himself, as usual when there’s food involved (that’s Jody behind him):
Jamie likes to drag a table around with her during forages for easier collection:
She decided to eat the field roast first and save the rest for later:
While Jamie was occupied elsewhere, Burrito bravely decided to steal her leftover dinner “boats.” I braced myself for Jamie to scream at the top of her lungs (her tactic when someone is touching – or even thinking about touching – something she doesn’t want them to), but she must have decided she found something else worth her attention and Burrito scooped them up without issue and food squeaked to celebrate:
Annie mid food grunt (you can just make out Negra’s ear as she sits in the sunny window below Annie enjoying her dinner with a view):
Jody, ever the adventurous foodie, was collecting corn cobs:
Foxie and Missy were ladies of the loft for this one and out of sight of the camera.
Anna, myself and volunteer, Helen, put the chimps’ dinner out a couple hours ago and Jamie is still foraging!
The chimps are completely silent as I write this so I just went to check on everyone. And who did I find, but this guy, fighting off a food coma in the last sun puddle of the day:
Somehow he mustered enough energy to still be an adorable goof:
But it was so hard:
There are some crazy amazing items of this guy (and more!) up for auction tonight. To all of you who have helped sponsor this amazing celebration, volunteers who have helped plan this party of all parties, to all those working to make it special for our guests, those who are attending the gala and making it so much fun, those who will be raising your paddles high or who have been pre-bidding online, and those of you cheering us on from home, there aren’t enough words of thanks to each of you for making everything that you do, possible. You make this sanctuary for these seven amazing chimpanzees a home. A home filled with love, comfort, joy, adventure and healing. And we hope a home for others, who are awaiting their day in their own sun puddles.
Hoots of love and gratitude from all of us to all of you! Have a fantastic evening and check in tomorrow for our celebration of Jody’s birthday and Mother’s Day! Yep, that’s how we roll in the chimp house…party, after party. Hopefully, Burrito is revived by then…