It’s officially mud season, and boy do we have a lot of it this year. Construction on Young’s Hill and The Bray finished too late last year to replant grass in the disturbed areas, so what was dust last fall when the chimps went back outside is now a squishy, slippery mess. One benefit of the mud, however, is finding the chimps’ hand and footprints all over the hill.
Unlike a lot of the animal tracks we find around the sanctuary, the chimps’ fore and hind limb prints are very distinctive from one another, due to the fact that chimps use the middle phalanges (not the knuckle itself but the area between the first and second knuckles) of their hands for walking while, like us, they use the soles of their feet.
Here are some hand prints:
Footprints show the entire sole of the foot with the big toe extending almost 90 degrees from the other toes.
There was a time when most of the Cle Elum Seven, who previously knew nothing but the concrete and bars of their laboratory cages, wouldn’t dream of stepping in mud. Times certainly have changed. It’s not as if they enjoy being dirty, however. When they return from an adventure outside, they promptly clean themselves up by wiping their hands and feet on walls, caging, cardboard boxes, or anything else within reach. And then leave it for their cleaning staff to take care of 🙂
:heart_eyes:Wow …..what a thing to sell ….a Plaster of Paris Footprint!!!….Just a Thought
Excellent thought Marie!!!
Linda C says
You read my mind, Marie!
Linda C says
I remember Katelyn posting a pic of tracks in the snow.
Can you distinguish, say, Annie’s from Missy’s or Jamie’s from Burrito’s? (Im guessing Neggie and Jo are a bit easier because of missing toes).
Those are precious prints…
just thinking out loud, seems to me there would be a way to prepare an approach area to the entrances for the chimps…..where they would have an artifical carpeting of “astroturf” style of material……..to some extent, it would dislodge a good bit of the mud or dirt from their in and out adventures……..
Linda C says
It might,but IIRC, the raceway can get muddy, too
Ugh. Mud season. We too have some mud season going on. Fun to see the hand and footprints of the chimps. I applaud the Seven for braving all the weather conditions the great Pacific NW throws at them!
Teresa Clickenger says
interesting! and hmm, I know they don’t like to get in water, or even dip hands or feet into water, but I wonder if you could hang a few very moist towels here and there if they already like to wipe their hands on things? or maybe put some in a bin or swimming pool, with treats underneath.
Linda C says
I think Annie would! She’s the one who washes her face. And Jamie plays in the water
I love these kind of shots, my all-time favourite was the one of their footprints in the snow! Thanks for sharing the love ?
can’t wait until Cy’s group make the grand entrance outside.
Thanks J.B. for this post.
I guess I never really thought about how different their hands and foot prints would be. Really cool pictures.
All these Ideas of how to have them clean up on the way in, sound good….
But I seem to remember a recent Video of someone sitting in the doorway, seemingly blocking everyone from coming and going, and they all just climbed the caging to get by. I think the same avoidance would happen with water, especially when they know how much you all LOVE to clean! ?
Elaine Reininger says
CeeCee: That video you are talking about is my all time favorite. It was a dead very large bush the one chimp brought in that got stuck in the dooway entrancr. I laugh every time I think about their comical and clever way of get up and over that bush lodged in the doorway,
Pat Malcolm says
Show them staff members hosing off muddy boots! In time they may get the idea!
Amy Bianco says
That’s a great idea, Pat! ?
JB, I’m coming a little late to this party but am so glad I didn’t miss this post! Thanks so much for your ongoing time and care in sharing such things as these precious footprint pics with us. These seemingly small details are so impactful for us out here in blogland. Like others, I also wondered about what they could be encouraged to “play with” that would be helpful on their way back inside when muddy. On the other hand, if there was such a thing I know you and the staff would already have implemented it!