As a staff, we’ve already noticed and discussed interesting patterns of behavior between the two groups. For example, Jody and Willy B have been spending considerable time staring at each other through the window. The three new arrivals have remained relatively composed and seem to be calmly sizing up their new acquaintances, while the seven original residents seem to be more excited. There was a huge mess by the windows in the Playroom this morning, indicating that the chimpanzees spent a lot of time looking outside at the adjacent tunnel.
Today was a bit unusual because we needed to briefly close off the outdoor tunnel and Young’s Hill for two separate maintenance projects. This meant that the groups were temporarily unable to see each other. Instead, Willy B. spent some time in front of the Howdy Door and made some noise to advertise his presence. On the Playroom side, Burrito and the others put on a concert of displays, screams and hoots.
For the seven original residents, checking in on the new cohort of chimps has taken up a lot of their time and effort, but has not completely derailed their usual activities. They enjoyed a lunch forage on Young’s Hill once the maintenance was complete, and Missy dominated the field by gathering up all the celery and bringing it into the Greenhouse.
Also, naps happened.
Now that the initial shock of seeing unfamiliar chimps has passed, the Cle Elum Seven seem to be monitoring their neighbors just as they keep tabs on the surrounding pastures, the volunteers, the tomato garden, and the refrigerator. The caveat is that these three new additions to the environment are also chimps, which means they are fully capable of responding right back.