The featured photo (the one at the top of the page) literally brought tears to my eyes this morning. Well, not the photo itself, but seeing Negra in the grass with that very relaxed face. She has come so far in the last ten years, and has made new strides just in the last two weeks since I wrote about her (and Foxie’s and Annie’s) independence. And she’s not the only one (there’s a bonus Burrito story down below the photos of Negra).
Two days ago, following our PRT session, I was starting on a walk with Jamie, when I noticed an unmistakable figure ahead. Though I knew it could only be Negra, I really questioned my eyes when I saw this chimpanzee person climb into the hammock. Luckily I had the camera with me and was able to get evidence of what I believe is a first-ever event.
Negra’s main purpose on the hill these days is to find prickly lettuce. She sets off on these expeditions with a certain amount of determination, so it was very special that she stopped and took in the view from this new perspective. And just look at her face in that photo of her in the hammock and the featured photo – she is relaxed, content, and at home.
After this pause, she continued on her journey:
almost disappearing into the sea of grass:
Once she happened upon a spot to forage for the plants she is so fond of, she disappeared again, this time into a sea of wild mustard:
I moved to get a better angle (Jamie was being quite patient with me taking photos of Negra, waiting to continue the walk we had begun):
Here’s one for perspective. Negra is at the very top of the hill, beyond the tower structures:
Lately on these treks, another chimpanzee, usually Jody (below) or Missy, will join Negra. Perhaps they are ensuring everything is okay, or maybe they are hoping to share in her harvest:
At 45, after decades of living in confinement, Negra proves that it is never too late for anyone to try something new and become something you never thought you would be.
Perhaps Burrito has been observing Negra’s new sense of adventure because today he climbed up onto to the bar structure!
Sometimes I don’t notice when someone hasn’t done something until I see them do it for the first time.
I am pretty sure that Foxie was aware that this was a new occasion because she was very excited to see Burrito up there next to her.
and he seemed pleased with the experience too:
What a fantastic week of firsts as we head into tomorrow’s celebration of the ten year anniversary of the chimpanzees’ arrival to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.