While we cleaned the playroom this morning, the Seven spent some time bonding on the Greenhouse platform. The chimps probably came together up top because it was warmer up there, but they may have realized that if they wanted to groom as a group they’d better gather around the immovable lump that is Negra. She’s happy to be groomed as long as it doesn’t involve getting out of bed. It may look like Foxie was excluded but individuals often tag out for brief periods only to tag back in later.
After cleaning was finished, the staff got together to discuss plans for enrichment in the new playrooms and greenhouses.
We consulted Mave first. It’s her house, after all. She just said to make sure there were lots of socks.
The climbing structures are starting to take shape. You can see the platforms, which will soon be filled in with composite decking, and some of the various branches. Later we’ll add fire hose vines and hammocks.
The playroom is split down the middle (with a double cage wall up above and a human hallway below) to accommodate two groups during introductions or, if necessary, on a permanent basis, so each side gets its own tree as well as its own set of stairs (for us humans and our elderly chimp friends).
With the playrooms nearing completion we’re excited to turn our attention to the greenhouses, which we plan to complete by the end of April. We’re looking forward to seeing the Three swing throughout the new spaces.
Chimps are pretty rough on their toys so strict quality control is important.
Case in point: Burrito was upside down and sideways all day on the caging and structures while playing with his caregivers.
Even though we filled up a stock tank with snow in the greenhouse, Burrito asked that Diana fetch him a fresh snow ball or two from just outside the door. Snow apparently tastes better when it is freshly hand-rolled by the artisan snow ball makers on staff.
And while he ate them, he tickled Diana’s hands with his toes.
While Burrito and Diana played, Missy decided it was time to head into the playroom and make a nest, so she grabbed an armful of blankets and headed for the door. But first she had to grab herself a snow snack.
We are so excited about those trees!
Linda C says
Ain’t no party like a groomin’ party, ’cause a groomin’ party don’t stop!
That’s an impressive swing, Diana!
Do you guys think they’re excited about the new rooms? I still can’t believe they haven’t gone outside yet!
tom austin says
who were the architects on the layout and design of the steel posts and platforms..?
That’s the work of renowned firm Mulcahy & Associates out of Cle Elum, WA. Just kidding, of course. We worked with the building architect (Marc Brown Design) to include in a footing for that post in the plans and then we gave a sketch to our welding team. Gary and his crew then set about building and installing the platforms and branches. It’s noting special as far as chimp structures go but we’re excited about it nonetheless!
Linda C says
Good on ya, a splendid idea!
I can see Negra thinking: I only get out of bed for peanuts..so you kids deal with that!
And that structure is very impressive; I can see the chimps hanging out and swinging..
And good old Missy walking around with a bunch of blankets like an old lady going for a nap..
made me giggle.
Said it before and I’ll say it again… that tree is so incredibly cool! Can’t wait to see the Three enjoying it!! Can’t wait to see the New Six enjoying theirs! So now I have to delicately point out that our beloved Seven will be missing out. I think “we” need to build them a tree too. (In your spare time of course!) ; )
Thanks for all the photos. I let out a happy sigh seeing everyone grooming around Neggie’s nest. That’s family. And Missy, even when she’s thinking about a nap she’s still on the move.
I so wish we could build something similar in the original playroom! But with radiant heat in the floors, the plate and footing for the structure has to be part of the design from the start. If we try to bolt something to the floor now we’re likely to puncture a radiant heating tube and ruin our whole heating system. That just means we have to get creative and find other ways to enrich that space. Or maybe everyone will have to rotate and get to enjoy each space within the sanctuary.
Oh right, that warm radiant heat. You are creatively creative J.B. so if anyone can come up with something, it’s you. It must have been such fun creating/designing/sketching out the new building now that you have years of experience behind you with the Seven. It has been fun to sit in my house, far away, and watch all this unfold before my very eyes. Thank you!
I have long wondered if the sanctuary has any interactions with the artisan snowball makers who ply their wares in the eastern slopes of the Washington Cascades. Mystery solved. Now, if I can only figure out what’s behind Jody’s sideways glance in the top photograph. Is she trying to devise the means to recover some of the blankets that Neggie royally appropriated for herself back in December? The suspense builds…
Barbara H says
What a fun blog. I love the new area inside with all the climbing contraptions for the chimps. It looks so clean and new and wide open for playing all over. Those chimps are so very fortunate to have such
a wonderful home now. I know they look forward to the outside areas also – true freedom for them.
I look forward to Willy B’s birthday party on Monday. I will definitely sign in to watch the festivities.
Happy Happy Birthday to Willy B. I hope to buy him something he favors for a gift. Thank you again
for a great blog.
Negra is certainly living her best life. Those trees look like so much fun, I could feel my younger self longing to climb and swing up and down them. I’m sure the chimps will have the same feeling.
Mary Garripoli says
I found myself staring at Jodie’s face for a full minute – she just captures my heart.
The new play spaces are beautiful. You have done an outstanding job. The chimps will love them.