We’ve talked a lot about the introductions of Honey B’s and Lucky’s groups on the blog over the last few months. After opening the last door 12 days ago, we have been watching as they sort out their social dynamics and build the trust needed to be a cohesive group. It is still very early in the process and we cannot pretend to know what the future will bring, but we can have hope! A common phrase heard almost daily throughout the chimp house, along with talking about how proud we are of the 9 chimpanzees, is- so far so good!
Integrating the two groups provides multiple benefits to everyone, with a key benefit being an increase in social partners. Each person now has eight other individuals they can choose to hang out with (or not), which provides increased opportunities for friendship, play, and all the other benefits that can come from having a bigger social group. As they figure out their place in the new social structure, we have been able to watch new friendships form and bonds strengthen. Some of these have been surprising (go, Mave!) and some have been more expected based on previous smaller introductions.
Today, I was able to catch an amazing moment of play between Honey B and Rayne on camera. It was lunchtime, they weren’t at the meal, and when we went looking for them we couldn’t help but smile. 🙂 Check out the video to see why!