Introductions have started! We as a staff had talked a lot about how introductions might go. We also had Amy Fultz from Chimp Haven provide advise from their successful introductions. To start intros we had Missy, Annie, and Jody meet Willy B, Honey B, and Mave first. We were very excited to have the chimps shift into the areas we needed them to so smoothly. To be honest, we were a bit shocked. We planned for one thing knowing that we might need 5 more back-up plans. Jamie, Burrito, Foxie, and Negra were offered a forage on the Hill that led to the new Chute and into Phase 1, which they have never been into! Foxie, Jamie, and Burrito went into the new Chute with ease. In the process Negra decided she wanted to stay on Young’s Hill. The Chute was foreign to her and she wasn’t ready for it yet, so Negra’s great adventure began!
I should start off by saying we do not normally close chimps onto only Young’s Hill. However, Negra was only out there until we could shift her back inside. Negra seemed to enjoy her time on the Hill. She grabbed a blanket and some forage and would go up to a structure and snack. Did I mention what was in the forage? There was lettuce, pomegranates, oranges, apples, pears, and Hawaiian rolls! When Negra needed more forage she would climb down, grab some more, and than go back up to relax on the structure. She even explored all over the Hill by herself. We thought she would hate being out there alone, but Negra was truly content. As some people say, Negra was living her best life.
I am sure you are all dying to know how the 3 on 3 meeting was. I can tell you there was fighting, hugging, A LOT of screaming, and A LOT of reassurance. Jody and Mave did a great job at keeping the peace! All of their reactions were normal for introductions. However, we were pretty busy the whole day and were not able to get very much video or photos. We also tried to keep the human interactions to a minimum. It is very important for Annie, Missy, Jody, Willy B, Honey B, and Mave to make a good relationship for the rest of the introductions to go smoothly. We are not out of the thick of things yet, but overall today’s introductions went well. Stay tuned for tomorrow, there will be a short video of clips from the introduction.