Now this is a terrible title because you aren’t going to actually see ten chimpanzees drinking tea. Just one.
But first things first! Before we get to the tea party, we’re happy to report that Meredith has shown some improvement today. Staff convened early this morning to get her situated for her exam with Dr. Erin. The entire time her mom, Honey, and small bovine family of Betsy and Nutmeg, stayed by her side or were nearby. Cattle are such intelligent, sensitive, herd oriented beings and while it’s not something that most of us get the chance to witness, unfortunately, it’s incredibly endearing to see how they stick together and the importance role they each play in the well-being of one another. But of course, they’re no different than any other animal, including we human animals.
Dr. Erin was able to give Meredith a thorough exam which went well and we’re awaiting the results of a few basic tests to make sure nothing is missed. In the meantime, Erin provided Meredith with a few treatments to help her feel more comfortable as we continue to observe her and ensure she keeps trending toward her old self. Thank you for all your kind thoughts and concern for her and of course, we will be sure to keep you updated.
Sweet Meredith, with her mother, Honey (in a classic Honey move) butting Nutmeg out of the way:
Now for the tea. A freezing fog wafted around the sanctuary all day, leaving much of it beautifully covered in a thin layer of crystals.
The chimpanzees raced onto Young’s Hill in a series a “false starts” throughout the day only to get part way out, realize how chilly it was and race back to the greenhouse. But eventually, Burrito and his buddy, Chad, made a couple loops in the cold. Once they returned, with everyone hunkered down in the toasty playroom, I thought what better time for warm tea (fruit herbal tea because chimpanzees sure don’t need caffeine). Jamie pant-hooted in excitement the second she saw me making it!
The tea service started out with everyone delicately (and decidedly very un-chimpanzee like) sipping their tea. But once they decided they loved it, the tea service turned raucous and rowdy, so juggling the tea and the camera in the midst of a cacophony of Bronx cheering and banging and yelling at this human to “hurry up” didn’t help with actual photos being taken (or at least turning out). Here is the only one, of Jamie enjoying her tea:
Meanwhile, on the other side, even Willy B, who is notoriously offended by tea, loved it! Speaking of Willy B, Honey B and Mave, their schedule was a bit off today as we have some repair work in their area pending, but they took it all in stride as they usually do, and were so happy and playful all day.
Honey B started a new job as self-appointed supervisor of the painters. Just part of the crew:
Mave enjoyed a leisurely day relaxing in the warm mezzanine and spent some time enjoying scrolling through my phone looking at photos of her friends at Wildlife Waystation who, as you may have heard, we hope to be welcoming to our family next year.
Here’s a random funny story. For much of the afternoon I was worried about Jody. She spent much of the day resting in the loft of the playroom and while that’s not unusual, she was just lying on the floor. Now if you know Jody, she is a master at nest building and knows how to spend her day in luxury. She acknowledged me when I’d call her, but she wouldn’t get up. She even skipped tea service. When she came down for dinner, I asked Chad if she was eating normally and if anything seemed amiss, but she not only ate well, but tried to relieve some of her neighbors of their dinner. So as the chimpanzees continued to eat, I was spot cleaning the playroom and putting out their extra evening blankets and food puzzles, still pondering what, if anything, could be going on with Jody. As I climbed the stairs to the loft I burst out laughing! There, in the corner, where Queen Negra had been napping next to Jody, was every single blanket we had put out in the playroom earlier in the day, wrapped into a well over foot high nest! Jody had been resting on the floor because Negra had taken ALL the blankets!! Now, there were other blankets available in other areas Jody could have come down for, and to be clear, the chimp house is kept toasty warm and even has heated floors, so Jody was by no means suffering. I think she must have been standing guard waiting for Negra to vacate that glorious nest and of course, Negra wasn’t budging.
And here’s Foxie, because, obviously…
Have a lovely, cozy evening, all!