I must admit that I got quite sentimental in my latest blog post. I even tried to be insightful.
Today’s entry will contain nothing of the sort.
Instead, here is a dry update on everyone’s progress accompanied by images from my phone camera.
Burrito continues to heal and appears more active by the day, but he is still nursing some ugly wounds. We continue to monitor him for potential complications (including but not limited to bacterial infection). Getting him to take meds is a full-time job, so caregiver Katelyn had the tedious task of preparing various foods and trying to sell him on each. As J.B. recently explained, this has been the most challenging aspect of Burrito’s treatment plan. He did get a few bursts of energy today and spent quite a bit of time interacting with the female chimps through the mesh windows separating him from the Playroom. He even climbed up onto his favorite bench, although his movement was a bit shaky and he appears to only have a fraction of his normal strength. Still, it was good to see Bubba being Bubba.
The girls (Annie, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra) have been back to business as usual. They seem to appreciate a return to routine, although they spend a lot of time monitoring Burrito and watching the windows and doors for signs of their chimpanzee neighbors on the other side. Whenever Willy B makes an appearance, they shower him with submissive pant-grunts and excited gestures. The weather was chilly and windy today, minimizing the appeal of Young’s Hill, but Jamie recruited volunteer Chad to walk the boundary with her anyway. When not patrolling and policing, Jamie has been enviously watching us give all sorts of foods to Burrito and has been asking for similar treatment. Jody has been obsessively helping Burrito to groom his wounds and he seems glad to have such an attentive nurse.
Honey B has been an absolute star when asked to present her wounds for inspection and treatment. Her toe and backside are healing well and she is behaving like her normal self. She’s been more interested in grooming my freckles than she has been in her own injuries, so our concern for her recovery is minimal even though we continue to treat her lacerations with topical and oral medication. Honey B is an ideal patient because she is comfortable with our presence close to the steel caging and she is generally accepting of any flavor of yogurt, even if it tastes like antibiotics or Ibuprofen. As long as she gets to hold the spoon and hang out with caregivers, she’s happy.
Willy B and Mave have been dealing with the unfortunate loss of their new social partners now that the groups have been split up and integration efforts have been halted. Instead, they’ve been focusing on reinforcing their bonds with each other (and with Honey B, to a lesser extent). We’ve also been showering them with enrichment and allowing them to sunbathe in the outdoor chute during the afternoons.
Overall, everyone is trending upward. However, we continue to place an emphasis on helping Burrito to recover while keeping the other chimps busy and comfortable as the fall weather gradually fades into winter.