Honey B, Willy B, and Mave have officially completed their 30-day quarantine period, but we’re still waiting on results from a fecal exam before we move on to introductions. As we wait, we are carefully observing the interactions between the two groups for cues to help us develop our introduction strategy. Jamie and Burrito will likely present the greatest challenge because of their backgrounds as pets and performers – chimps raised in human environments are often at a disadvantage when it comes to navigating complex social situations. And Foxie, while socially adept, has been slightly more reactive than we expected (this is a nice way of saying that she screams a lot). Our instincts, along with tons of data from our friend and former intern Jake, told us that Jody, Missy, and Annie would be a strong subgroup to welcome the new folks to the neighborhood, and today’s interaction seemed to back that up.
We hope that these ten chimps will be compatible but we are realistic about what lies ahead. Even if a full group formation is unsuccessful, it will be an absolute joy to watch some of the Cle Elum Seven meet new friends after all these years. Just look at the excitement and anticipation in Jody’s eyes.