This week Willy B, Mave and Honey B were more than happy to demo our two new indoor playrooms. Today they have continued to explore, relax and play in the new sun-filled spaces. It’s been a delight watching them zoom (Honey B), stomp (Willy B) or shuffle (Mave) from one enclosure to the next. For the humans, it’s also been a learning experience as we practice shifting and cleaning under a new set of circumstances.
For those unfamiliar with captive chimpanzees (and their strength and unpredictability), caregivers never enter an enclosure at the same time that the chimpanzees are occupying that space (the one exception being during an anesthetic medical event) . We ask the chimpanzees to shift from one space to another so we can secure and lock doors (using a remote operating system). We make sure all the remote controlled “chimpanzee” doors are securely in place and the chimps are identified out of the space before we unlock the “human” doors to enter and clean safely.
There are several new remote operating chimpanzee doors that have been installed to connect old areas to new areas, new areas together, and new rooms to future spaces. If that sounds a little confusing, that’s because it definitely can be overwhelming! We take safety very seriously so we are always reporting and double checking each other’s shifting plans.
JB presented us with a new updated map this week:
And we did a little training to practice and orient ourselves with our new system:
Here’s Diana practicing operating the new hydraulic door “L” :
All these new doors mean more choices and opportunities for our chimpanzee friends. Seeing them boldly take on their new space makes all the training and yes… even a little bit of human stress… all the more worth it!
Thank you for the wonderful update and beautiful pictures Anna.
I always think that it is just wonderful how The chimps will sit nice to eat their meals.
God bless everyone of the staff! 🙂
tom austin says
Having not previously seen an aerial view of the floor, I did not realize how small an area the 3 had in which to live. Good grief…..they must be overwhelmed with the addition….and the greenhouse is yet to come…!
Hi Tom, there is on the first floor over the rooms downstairs a space called “the Mezzanine”, where the 3 Californians could play. I estimate it is the size of the lower rooms plus the humanspace downstrais…..so not thát small…..
So many changes for all of you to get used to. More moving parts increases your safety responsibilities. This will certainly keep you on your toes, especially when the new six arrive. Thanks for the peek at the floor plan, puts it all into perspective.
While you focused on training it looks as if Mave was heading upstairs for a tea party! It’s marvelous Honey B can privately dine in peace now if she chooses. What a crack up! Have you noticed any changes in the three now that they have all this new space? Are they more active, more playful, or do they choose to seek more privacy, or is it too soon to tell? At night time do they have access to one of the big rooms and if so where do they go to sleep at night? And are the seven nosy noisy neighbors making more of a ruckus now that they can spy into more windows?! Oh my head spins with questions and excitement for them. (Please know I don’t expect you to answer these silly questions. As time unfolds we will discover more and more. Until then my mind will continue to spin happy scenarios!)
Here’s to new adventures….
Zoom…Stomp…Shuffle…I’m cracking up since it would be so easy to identify the zoomer, the stomper, & the shuffler, without names or photos…It’s really been enjoyable learning about each chimps’ individual personalities & little quirks…That’s what make them so fascinating…Anyway, it’s really nice knowing they’re having fun exploring their new space & taking to it right away…
Linda C says
I felt like I had the floor plan at the original house down, now there’s more to explore!
I predict lots of screaming and finger waggling in the future, even more after the new 6 come!
Karen Ramona Leslie says
We need more people like you guys, I crack up even just looking @ my calendar. Thank you for making the day boxes large enough to write in, but I wish the numbers were a little larger & darker. P.S. My Dad always said I was born ‘bossy’ & could walk on my knuckles. He called me ‘Tuffy’, maybe you can call one of your future new kids that. Yeehaw. Karen
I’m offline for a few days and look what happens! It’s just so satisfying to see the Californians explore every inch of the new spaces in three dimensions. Well done everyone! This seems like a very peaceful and happy introduction to new spaces, I can’t wait to see what happens when the Lucky 7 arrive. You all have done such a terrific job so far, I know the new kids will be quite happy with their spectacular new digs, and the staff is obviously more than up to the task. It’s only onward and upward from here 🙂
What an achievement…great spaces for the 3 and the soon to arrive 7 (or 6?)..
I was wondering if, in the worst case scenario the two groups do Not get along, how will the humans solve that? I can see that the playrooms and greenhouses can be seperated, but what about the “frontrooms”? There are only the ones where the 3 Cali chimpanzees arrived in?
Will there be new rooms build if it turns out that the groups do not mix?
Of course I hope that the two groups will mix seemlessly, but you have to look all posibilities, right?
Linda C says
I’ve asked before, and they’ve said that they’re prepared for either contingency. Some of the 3 know some of the 6. Fingers crossed! Though my heart still cries for poor JoJo….all those boys, and none for her!
Hi Marianne! There are lots of opportunities for the spaces to be separated in different configurations. If the groups do not end up integrating, one group would most likely have the front rooms and Playroom 2/Greenhouse 2 while the other group would have the Mezzanine with Playroom 3/Greenhouse 3.
Barbara Bentley says
This post opens so many possibilities- and hearing from my zookeeper daughter I know that doors, locks and double checking safe procedures are essential. Which leads me to ask- what are the plans to add volunteers and more staff to the mix? You have managed well through the pandemic, and I trust you all have been vaccinated as essential workers- but the work load seems daunting with more spaces to clean and anticipation of the population explosion to come! What a delightful space for the three- let’s hope they begin to explore the outside. Their courage continues to astound as they climb and play with more spaces and options without roofs! May they learn to patrol Young’s Hill as well in the year to come.
Linda C says
In the last couple months, they’ve advertised two new positions
Hi Barbara! Our 2 new staff members are all set to start at the end of April/beginning of May! We will get to train them well-ahead of the arrival of the Lucky 6 🙂