The chimp house was a flurry of happenings this morning. With two groups of chimpanzees currently living in separate areas while Mave, Willy B and Honey B complete their quarantine, we’ve had to get a little creative in dividing everyone up to care for the chimps and their respective homes. Add in visits with old friends and new, and construction as our good friend, Gary McInnis of Sage Mechanical, and his wonderful colleagues, work hard to wrap up completion of the new tunnel which leads outside from Phase I and will allow Mave, Willy B and Honey B to venture into the fresh air and sunshine while they await the end of their quarantine and their chance to enjoy Young’s Hill. The chimp house was a hive of activity.
So this afternoon when things suddenly grew still and quiet after lunch it was as if a spell had been cast. An enchantment had fallen over the chimp house.
I went out to the greenhouse and Missy quietly came over and asked me to groom her and a few minutes later Burrito decided to join us. It’s always a gift when the chimpanzees invite us to interact with them, but when other chimpanzees approach we will typically disengage so they can spend their time bonding with one another. Their relationships with one another are always the priority in our minds. But this afternoon, Burrito and Missy seemed happy to include me in their grooming session and as we three sat huddled closely together in one shady corner of the greenhouse, everyone else relaxed and dozed around us in the summer breeze filled afternoon. It was so quiet. So still.
Burrito grooming Missy’s brow:
Annie rested nearby:
Jody fell sound asleep. I watched her for some time, in awe really. Her tiny feet clasped together, the breeze ruffling her hair and the leaves of the bamboo. She took a deep sigh, her body twitching in some dream only she will know:
Sweet Foxie, her eyes growing heavy:
To hear the chimpanzees sigh in ease and contentment, to watch their hair blow in the warmth of a breeze as they doze and dream in this home, their home, that you make possible for them…in that enchanted space my heart just swelled with thankfulness for it all.