Winter in the Pacific Northwest can be difficult to handle.
The landscape becomes dark, cold, and icy for several months. It’s beautiful in many ways, but it’s also challenging. In order to subsist in these surroundings, our team must make the necessary preparations and maintain a positive attitude about whatever the skies throw down on us. To visualize this, imagine how caregiver Chad and volunteer Fritz looked as they returned to the Chimp House this afternoon, soaking wet and freezing after driving through the blinding snow to feed the cattle and muck the barn. Of course, they laughed about it. Those smiles, paired with the appropriate clothing and equipment, ensure that we will make it to the spring in one piece.
As sanctuary personnel, our motive is to make sure the chimpanzees experience the wonders of the winter season without being subjected to its harsh conditions. Unfortunately, some inconveniences are unavoidable (e.g., Young’s Hill is buried under a foot of snow at the moment), but the chimpanzees can still choose to go outside and harvest snow or hang out inside on the heated floors. For some, an ideal day is spent in the loft of the Playroom, nibbling on roasted vegetables while submerged in a sea of blankets. This year’s new arrivals, for example, don’t seem enthused by the snowy surroundings just yet. For others, nothing seems better than darting outside, shoveling fresh snow into their chimpy mouths, and succumbing to the imminent brain freeze. To each their own, I guess.
We’ll continue to update everyone on the humors of the chimps through this ongoing winter snowstorm. Many of you are probably anxious for news about Burrito, but he has been bright and energetic for the last few days. You would never guess that he just had a toe amputated except he is still covered in distraction tape (and missing a toe).
You can all rest assured that the chimps are cozy and occupied, and the humans are having some fun, too.
Stay warm and safe, everyone!