We caregivers have been excitedly toting around cameras while the chimpanzees continue to explore the new version of Young’s Hill. The outdoor habitat has retained all the lovable qualities of the original and provides the chimps with even more space and a potential for novel experiences (e.g., climbing up the trunk of a real tree). The weather has cooled substantially since last Wednesday’s big reveal, but we can still count on Jamie and her companions to do a thorough patrol of the new perimeter each morning.
For today’s blog post, I thought I’d share some additional images from the group’s first outings in Young’s Hill 2.0.
The group patrolling together:
Missy climbing a new log structure:
Burrito using the familiar Twister to get a better view:
Burrito waiting impatiently for the others to catch up:
Burrito perched on a tree trunk, inspecting the new vegetation:
Annie using a new structure to take in a new view of the property:
The most popular addition has been the grove of Ponderosa pines (and one Douglas fir) that is now located just within the enclosure’s eastern boundary. The relocated lookout tower provides a perfect vantage to both examine the evergreen trees up close and take in the scenic mountain views across the valley.
With the bright afternoon sunlight coming down from the southwest, the chimpanzees were visible as dark silhouettes against the golden backdrop of early autumn. Missy made an imposing figure when perched atop the lookout.
As Jenna demonstrated yesterday, focusing the camera lens on the chimpanzees is tricky when we have two layers of field fence and electrified wires between us. Our objective isn’t to make you forget about the fencing entirely, but rather to portray the chimpanzees as we perceive them, with the wires out of focus and their expressions in clear view. If you look back at any of the photographs above, you can see the hazy streaks created by the fencing that separates us and them.
Auto-focus admittedly makes tracking the chimpanzees a little bit easier, and a lens with a wide aperture helps to blur out foreground obstacles, but we still often find ourselves embroiled in games of trial-and-error just to get a few photos for the daily blog.
This image, for example…
…was taken just milliseconds before this one:
Have a great week, everyone!
P.S. The answer to yesterday’s guessing game is 17 blankets. Congratulations to Linda C., Nancy Potter, and Gayle Marie Stone for guessing correctly!