Mave can be hot or cold when it comes to playing with the humans. Of course as much as we love to play with the chimps, we love it most when they play with one another as their relationships are the most important to their well-being. But when Mave does choose to play with the humans, like most of us, she has people she seems to prefer (of which I am not usually one), but she’s dignified you know, so at least with me she doesn’t usually let on that she’s really invested in whatever game we might be playing. 😉 But yesterday she bestowed me with a sudden game of chase.
Now Mave also has a very endearing one-size-fits-all habit when she’s excited about something. It might be in greeting Willy B, displaying, or just having fun and playing, but she will repeatedly leap up and down on all fours and kick her legs straight down when she’s in the air. Even when she’s being serious, it’s pretty cute. So as we were playing, she would run to the windows to get me to run outside and chase her from the other side of the windows and when I’d run back inside I could see her shadow going boingity, boing, boing boing, in anticipation of me running back inside, but the second I’d turn the corner to see her she’d just be sitting there as though nothing were going on.
Despite doing her best to pretend she didn’t have the time of day for my shenanigans, at one point she could no longer contain herself and went flying through the front rooms, grabbing a slinky on the way, and just flailed about in a blur of joy:
As a side note, we’ve been marveling at how dark Mave’s face has become after all the sunbathing she’s been doing in the chute lately. Here’s a pre-summertime Mave portrait that J.B. took:
In other news, the original playroom for the seven is getting a facelift and as the humans work over the next few days to update things, the chimpanzees will be spending more time in the other areas of their home (Young’s Hill, the greenhouse and the front rooms). Routine is important for captive chimpanzees, particularly those who have been in biomedical research, so when we have no alternative but to disrupt the norm a bit, we try to think of extra enrichment and exciting things for them to enjoy to help distract them from the temporary changes in their day.
Today began with a breakfast forage on Young’s Hill and as the afternoon warmed up, we served ice cubes (I have no idea why they love these simple things so much, but they sure do) and buckets of Gatorade. Burrito felt the best approach was to just lie next to the buckets and go for the triple straw method:
Foxie joined in: