As if unanimously appointed, the chimpanzees have taken on the responsibility of supervising the ongoing expansion.
As the interior of the new wing nears completion, Gary and the team are making quick progress on the exterior renovation. The keystone of this project is an immense archway tunnel that will soon allow chimps to move freely between the expansion’s indoor areas and the existing outdoor habitat, Young’s Hill.
Just last week, pieces of the new tunnel were brought to the sanctuary, assembled, and set in place. Today, the crew began the extension of Young’s Hill that will align the end of the tunnel with the outdoor enclosure’s primary fence.
The chimpanzee residents are not visibly distressed by all of the commotion. In fact, they seem to be intrigued by the people operating heavy machinery right in their backyard. Diana took these photographs as the chimps used the high ground provided by Young’s Hill to keep watch over the crew.
Back in the Chimp House, the only drama seemed to be entirely unrelated to the construction. It revolved around onions.
While serving lunch, I dropped some onion petals and green beans outside of the caging of the Greenhouse (above). Any items dropped in this area are usually claimed by Jamie and she makes an effort to pull them within reach using whatever tool is at her disposal. Apparently, someone else made an attempt to retrieve some onion scraps and Jamie threw a tantrum, causing a fiasco in the Greenhouse that spilled over into the Playroom. Eventually, everyone else gave up and Jamie triumphantly ate her onions in the front rooms (below).
Jamie then spent the rest of the afternoon watching all the humans dig holes, clean enrichment, chop produce and fold laundry. Although she supervised from afar, her plans consisted of nesting with boots, foraging for more leftover onions, and flipping through books about shoes.