The weather has been unusual this summer. As Katelyn noted yesterday, the temperatures have been cool and the skies have been misty at times. Today is a better example of a typical July day in central Washington- dry, sunny, and warm- and the sanctuary residents are making the most of it. The chimps enjoyed their breakfast while basking in the sunlight on the upper decking of the Greenhouse. The meal included some generously donated green apples and was lovingly served by Level III volunteer Miranda (below).
Afterwards, the chimps seemed to be sufficiently full of fruit and chow and appeared to be extremely content as they slipped into mid-morning naps in various corners of the Greenhouse. Neggie, per usual, settled in a ring of blankets on the upper deck (below), and even Jamie seemed to doze off between bouts of monitoring the caregivers through the playroom window.
Annie sprawled out on the lower decking, tucked her feet in, and inspected the writing on the underside of a toy (below).
Per usual, Missy stationed herself next to Annie and used the opportunity to give herself a quick groom (below). All was quiet in the Greenhouse.
Even when they’re resting and recharging, however, the chimpanzees don’t miss any of the events unraveling around them. Each part of the facility offers a unique view of the surrounding valley, enabling the chimps to be the sentinels of their own territory. Everything the light touches is theirs, and everything that occurs within sight is their business. This morning, that included the team of laborers constructing a new access road that will soon flank the sanctuary to the East (below).
As soon as they started working, Missy took notice (below). Then Annie sat upright and began to follow along. Soon, everyone was spilling out of the raceway onto Young’s Hill to check out the action.
Jamie led the way up the hill, pausing at regular intervals to watch the distant excavation. I could only imagine what she was thinking, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if she was analyzing the grade of the switchbacks or making sure the workers were wearing the proper protective equipment. She’s always supervising.
Foxie and her tiny troll doll traveled in the vanguard, providing Jamie with support and monitoring the situation (below). Missy, Annie, Jody and Burrito all followed close behind. (Neggie “kept watch” over her nest in the Greenhouse.)
Even with all of the planned activities and provisioned objects that the staff and volunteers provide, unexpected events can be the best source of enrichment for the chimps. Both free-ranging and captive chimpanzees engage in regular boundary patrols to survey the landscape and monitor neighboring communities, so unexpected changes can make things interesting. With all of the new developments in their vicinity, the chimps have a lot to keep tabs on as summer progresses and they seem to welcome the responsibility.