As Diana mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Missy and Honey B are remarkably similar in many ways, while also uniquely different as Katelyn mentioned.
To add on to this growing list, they both show a knack for ingenuity for their enrichment items. It’s hard to be certain, and I would be questioned to no end by the scientific community, but I would go to say this requires at least some hint of imagination. (Though recently more researchers have been becoming more open to the idea of imagination in chimpanzees with the case of young chimpanzees carrying around and playing with sticks as if they were dolls in the wild.)
As you may know, Honey B shows her skills by using a different tool to master her PVC Tube food puzzle. And her mom, Missy, also shows some very unique ways to master her food puzzles. But what about after?
Most of the other residents are usually move on after they are done with an enrichment item. For Honey B though, these items just become a part of her fort-nest. Honey B is known to make these elaborate forts with anything she can find, usually blankets, toys, and used enrichment items. The other day, we found this in the Mezzanine.
(For some reason, a certain scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail came to mind when I saw this.)
Though Mave also has a knack to fort build as well, she is a little more particular on which items she uses. Most notably blankets and the cube chairs almost exclusively, though she may add some other things from time-to-time when she feels like it. Mave’s forts are also not as elaborate as Honey B’s forts.
It also could be that Honey B has been watching the construction workers build and felt like building something of her own.
However, Honey B has been building these “structures” long before their arrival.
Over on the other side, Missy is know to wear socks occasionally when she is in a very playful mood. But the following morning after the Seven were given Firehose Knots as an evening puzzle, Missy was seen with hers still in hand. She was carrying her pieces of firehose around while wearing an avocado sock I might add. After about 30 minutes or so, I witnessed her stuffing the firehose into the sock, which she proceeded to carrying around with her. I tried to find the past blogs of Missy holding a blanket down from the loft towards Annie and playing keep away with it, but I was unsuccessful. So you have to imagine her playing that game but with this instead of a blanket.
They both are remarkable in finding other uses of used enrichment items and to breath new life into them. And as one caregiver mentioned after seeing the above photo, “Maybe Missy is preparing some Christmas stockings” for their upcoming celebration.
Speaking of Christmas, thank you to all of you who have donated items from our Amazon Wishlist for their celebration! Your donations will help us try to throw a great celebration for them this year!
But did you know there are still some other items on the list!?
You can still donate some of the items on the list to help us make this celebration special, but there are other items which helps us continue our day-to-day operations and ensure the residents’ home remains clean!
The way Mave created her fort with that box is mind blowing to me. I never would have thought to stand a box on end with the flaps out in formation…..who knew? I didn’t. I guess we don’t give them enough credit. We have so much to learn from them, well, I do at least.
Thanks for this great posting, Chad. Your comments about “imagination” are very interesting. I completely believe that chimps have “imagination” as evidenced by so much of what they do. Building forts, copying things they’ve seen others do, (including the construction workers), creating new things out of other objects,enrichment choices they make, games they make up, strategies they develop (like faking each other out when playing), tricks they play on each other, Jamie drawing and looking so intently at her books, so many examples of just how advanced their intelligence and imaginations are. While I appreciate the “scientific community” and its scientific perspectives, I also think there’s so much more to the story than we can even begin to imagine. And, their imaginations also contribute so much to their creativity in so many ways, even in a basic behavior like nest building. We don’t know about Jamie’s fascination with boots, but the first time I saw her cradling one to her chest I thought: “I wonder if the boot is about the size of a chimp infant.” So much we can’t know about what they’re thinking and how they feel about their caregivers’ participation in their lives as part of their group. I guess I could wax on & on about this since I love and appreciate them so much. In the psychological world there’s a concept called “object permanence” that involved being able to think about a thing and hold it in one’s mind even when it’s no longer visible. It’s a primary concept that has to do with capacities of how the mind functions. While mostly thought about with people (and babies), it’s clear to me that the chimps display those capacities, too, especially in their planning ahead when things are out of sight. Ok, I need to stop waxing on now!! Thank you for prompting me to think about these things. And then there are those adornment choices, socks and waistbands and shopping bags and all!!
This blog had me laughing, thanks Chad! The past post “Old Tool, New Ideas” still cracks me up — Burrito playing tug, you can’t help but laugh! Look at his laughing face, eeesh. And Annie siphoning Jamie’s smoothie! It’s too funny. Almost as funny as Missy’s firehose with the avocado sock. Seriously! I think I agree that Missy is preparing for Christmas stocking stuffing. And the forts, I think I am most amazed by Honey B’s cardboard walls. She is too much.
As far as chimpanzees having imagination and the the scientific community perhaps not being totally behind such an idea, I think of Dr. Jane Goodall who proved that sometimes the scientific community doesn’t know everything. ; ) Speaking of imagination, is Foxie and her phantom playing an example of (or similar to) imagination?
Great post, thanks all the links and the laughs some of them held. Have a wonderful evening!
I am remembering back to what I know of Chomsky and Fodor, and their writings about how humans use our minds for tasks that they weren’t specifically designed for, how we use our very powerful modules of pattern recognition to construct language, music, architecture, calculus and more.
I don’t know anything about chimp minds, but it doesn’t surprise me that they’re able to similarly reach beyond what their mind is designed for to take advantage of novel situations and create something not normally found in their environment. For me that’s the definition of intelligence.
I can’t look at Honey B’s fort and not notice how deliberate the design is. It’s not a random pile of stuff, it’s a well though out placement of artifacts she selected, and placed to achieve the end result she wanted. Perhaps Honey B is an architect at heart.
I have a burning question that is totally UNrelated to this wonderful blog :
Am I correct to understand is that the WILDLIFE WAY Station is also a sanctuary?
If so, then why does CSNW take chimpanzee from there, if there still are chimpanzees in in other places that are not a sanctuary?
I looked up the website and saw pictures of Cy and Lucky ( and also Honey B so it is dated..), and they also ask for donations and support.
I hope one of you has the time to explain it to me; I am looking forward to that
Linda C says
I’m just another reader, but I think it was a place for all types of animals that had been used in entertainment. But not a true sanctuary in that they were open to the public and offered some animal encounters, if I’ve got my info correct
In any case, it’s closed now. All of their animals were placed except for the chimps, because all of the sanctuaries are full. That’s why 7th generation advocates will collect funds to distribute to the sanctuaries that wish to give them a home. Unless you’d rather give directly to a particular sanctuary, such as this one.
Thank you Linda, I just found out myself that is closed a year ago, and there are still chimpanzees waiting for a home. Now it makes sence…
Chad de Bree says
Yes. Wildlife Waystation was a facility that rescued exotic animals from the pet trade, entertainment, illegal trafficking, and biomedical laboratories, which included chimpanzees. Unfortunately, they unexpectedly closed last year. While most of the animals in their care, such as big cats, have been moved to other sanctuaries, the chimpanzees are the last remaining residents. Since it was an unexpected closure, accredited chimpanzee sanctuaries around the United States (including us, Center For Great Apes in FL, Chimp Haven in LA, and Primarily Primates in TX) are working as fast as we can to expand our facilities to provide the chimpanzees there a new home. Honey B, Willy B, and Mave were some of the first to move after the Waystation’s closure because at the time we had just enough room to care for three additional (and wonderfully amazing) individuals. The Waystation and the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance’s Chimps In Need campaign are asking for donations so the chimpanzees still there, including Cy, Lucky, Terry, Rayne, Gordo, and Dora, can still be provided care until the expansion is ready to welcome them home.
Thank you Chad.
Linda C says
Best. Meme. Ever!
Is this the video you’re talking about, Chad?
Hysterical! Fab-U-Lous! The ever changing socks and gloves on Missy’s feet is funny too.
That’s fantastic, I’m so glad you posted that!
Chad de Bree says
Thank you, Linda! I also found it today in the Fall In Love With Missy video as well! But those are the clips I was referring to!
Omg I just love them!?