Burrito, the one male chimpanzee at the sanctuary, is turning 36 tomorrow!
When describing Burrito, I wouldn’t be able to count how many times I have said his age and then inserted the caveat, “but he acts more like a teenager.”
When he arrived to the sanctuary in 2008 at age 26, even then he was well into adulthood; but his boyishness was apparent. Actually, it was apparent to me when I first met him at Buckshire.
Below are a few of the early photos we took of Burrito. There’s just something absolutely irresistible and, yes, cute, about this guy:
Don’t get me wrong, he is a chimpanzee and behaves accordingly. He has his Tasmanian devil moments (no slight or stereotyping of Tasmanian devils intended).
He still regularly spits on me when I’m operating doors, especially in the morning.
But often immediately afterwards he wants to play a game of chase or tug of war:
Burrito’s je ne sais quoi clearly reaches beyond those who are lucky enough to meet him in person – he has many fans, including official Chimpanzee Pals, out there. Being able to share Burrito’s youthful spirit is one of the very best parts of my job.
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share the similar boyish charm of two other male non-humans at CSNW.
A few years ago, J.B. and I adopted a dog from Lady’s Hope Dog Rescue. He had been a stray and spent some time at a couple of different shelters before he caught the attention of Lady’s Hope. He was a handful for a variety of reasons, but he quickly started to remind me of Burrito in that boyish charm sort of way.
I mean, just look at this face:
This is what Wilson wants to be doing most of the time:
Coincidentally, Wilson was diagnosed with heart issues after Burrito’s diagnosis. They take some of the same medication. Thankfully, at this point, neither of them are symptomatic and likely have no idea that they have an illness.
Because J.B. and I occupy the house on the property, Wilson is a part of the sanctuary too. He and (even more likely) his canine companion and savior Abbey can often be seen in their yard by the house, checking in on who’s coming up the driveway and watching all of the goings-on across the property.
And now we have a third young male who lives at the sanctuary. We’re still getting to know Nutmeg, the one steer who is part of our new cattle family. Somehow, he also has this young-at-heart innocence that was immediately apparent and has won us all over.
He also has one of the greatest hairdos of anyone I’ve ever met:
Nutmeg dutifully ambles along after his mom Betsy, adoptive aunt Honey and more feisty cousin Meredith. Being a male born to a cow genetically bred for the dairy industry, he’s a big guy, but I don’t think he realizes his size.
I don’t know how we lucked out with these three or why they all have a similar enchanting youthful demeanor, but I sure am glad I know them.
I’ll end with a look back at a couple of videos that illustrate the easy task of enticing the silliness out of Mr. B.:
A big happy birthday to Burrito tomorrow! May your heart always remain young, and may you, Wilson, and Nutmeg continue to charm anyone who takes the time to get to know you.