Annie has been wearing a yellow elastic headband around her waist for the past week. This makes us happy because it’s her choice and it seems to make her happy. The headband is part of the daily enrichment we offer to the chimps, which also includes blankets, dolls, scarves, socks, hats, boots, wooden toys, plastic tools, toothbrushes, nail files, bags, buckets, stuffed animals, books, magazines, paper, and anything else we think they might enjoy that’s safe for them to have. The chimps are free to use, destroy, or ignore these items in any way they see fit.
Most people are used to seeing chimpanzees wearing clothing because chimps used in movies, television shows, commercials, and print advertisements have traditionally been forced (and often duct-taped) into clothes against their will for the purpose of entertaining humans (or selling products).
At CSNW, Annie’s only job is to be herself.