The chimpanzees usually start gathering up blankets and heading for their night nests as soon as dinner and the evening enrichment are over. With one exception, that is. Jamie. Even if Jamie doesn’t choose to stay out for walking, she has indoor projects lined up for the evening by the time we leave for the day. But on the nights she does choose to stay out and walk, the chimp house often grows dark as everyone else is curled up in their nests starting to drift off to sleep. But with staff quietly going in and out to walk with Jamie while we wait for her to decide to come in, it’s not always the most conducive to sleeping. And sometimes the chimps just don’t fully settle into slumber until everyone is in for the night.
So when Jamie chose to stay out the other night, every time I walked down the human hallway past the frontrooms where Burrito had made a nest, he’d look at me sleepily and throw his arm out toward me, barely keeping his eyes open, trying to be patient for the boss lady to come in so he could go to sleep.
Shortly before Jamie finally decided to come inside for the night, I found Burrito sitting on one of the benches, sleepily holding onto his blanket and yawning, as if to say, “Please tell her to come in now, I’m sooo tired.”