Today we made an attempt to introduce Burrito and Foxie to the calm group of eight that have been doing really well for the last few days, and things did not go as we had hoped.
There were some really good moments and everyone seemed to want to get to know each other, but the anxiety seemed to be just too much and a few serious fights broke out. No one needed medical intervention beyond medication, but because things just did not calm down, we decided we needed to separate them.
They aren’t currently separated in social configurations that we plan to keep, but everyone is safe and quiet for the night and no doubt extremely exhausted.
Now we humans regroup and decide what to do from here and try to figure out what’s best for them. There were definite glimpses of how good they could potentially work together, but the anxiousness just got the best of them. Willy B and Burrito, when finally given a chance to be next to each other (through mesh) without a gaggle of anxious onlookers, were SO excited to meet.
We have some thinking to do. We could spend a lot of time second guessing our decisions, and I’m sure we will do some of that. But, ultimately, we have to move forward in some way, even if it’s not the way we were hoping.
Like I said in my post the other day, chimpanzees are tough, and they will all be fine. We have a truly incredible caregiving team here and we are able to talk though things together. Hopefully we can remain as tough as the chimpanzees!
On the lighter side of things, during these very dramatic conflicts, can you guess what Negra was doing? If you guessed eating, you would be correct. At one point she was paging through a magazine, hoping to find some peanut butter inside (peanut butter magazines are one of her favorite food enrichment items). You’ve got to admire her singular focus and her ability to stay out of the fray.
The photo below is not from today but shows how content she is with the thought that she might find some peanut butter in between those pages:
In other news, in case you didn’t see it in social media or through our e-newsletter, Giving Day for Apes was a tremendous success for our sanctuary and for sanctuaries overall! Thank you all for your support. It takes on even more meaning when we are going through challenging times.