It’s been a thunderous day, literally and figuratively. The chimpanzees have spent much of yesterday and today in a wild call and response of displays with one another. Hoots, hollers, kicks to the windows and “howdy” door and all manner of vocalizations, some of which we’ve never heard the likes of before, have been ringing throughout the chimp house.
Both groups were served lunch just about the time a thunderstorm rolled over the sanctuary which seemed to amplify their echoing expressions and emotions. Sweet Mave ran in from her nest in the new Phase I chute which leads outside and spent a long time sitting in the doorway alarm calling. She should be familiar with the occasional rainstorm at her former home, but who knows how she felt about them or why she found them alarming today exactly. Sometimes even familiar things sound different in new surroundings. After several minutes of continued calling, I wondered if Mave had perhaps seen a snake or something so I grabbed a blanket for cover and ran outside of the Phase I windows to check for “intruders,” but the coast appeared clear, to these human eyes at least. Honey B greeted me with her face pressed against the windows and breathy pants of reassurance and the three seemed to come to the conclusion that if I was okay running around out there, they must be okay running around inside.
And finally, exhausted from a stormy day of emotions and weather, and bellies full from lunch, the chimp house grew quiet and still. Everyone curled up, heavy eyes occasionally cast skyward at the sound of rain on the rooftops, they all fell asleep.
Beautiful Honey B:
Handsome Willy B, listening to the storm: