Yesterday, Sabrina wrote about the walk she took with Rayne around the Bray. It’s so exciting to see Cy’s group explore their new habitat- if there’s anything we’ve learned from Jamie’s group and Young’s Hill, it’s that seeing them explore outside truly never gets old.
So, earlier today (and every day, really), when Jamie wanted to go for a walk, I was pumped! While I was trying to figure out what she needed for the walk, I realized I had my blog topic for the day. Jamie has rules when it comes to her walks, naturally, and we have to abide!
Today, we were cleaning the front rooms when Jamie popped up in the loft of the playroom. I was walking into the chimp area from the kitchen and she started pointing, so I stopped cleaning and tried to figure out what she wanted. First, I tried showing her a few different boots to see if one was what she wanted. She didn’t stop pointing (aggressively) so I knew I hadn’t gotten it right yet. Her short, black boot had been drying on the kitchen boot dryer so I snagged that and she nodded at me, but still pointed towards me. I was getting closer, but wasn’t quite there yet, so I put the boot on and grabbed her favorite bonobo books and she was gone! I met her outside the greenhouse and off we went. Almost everyone joined us today, but Negra opted to remain in the super comfy nest she had made in the greenhouse.
After walking with Jamie, she will usually want one or all of the items she asked you to bring around the hill. Since it’s chimp approved enrichment, we give it to her! Today she wanted her three bonobo books, but didn’t want her boot, so I put it aside to give to her before closing up the chimp house this evening.
After you have successfully navigated the pre-walk steps of figuring out what exactly you need to bring, done the actual walk itself, and given her the things from the walk she wanted- then she will often want to sit and groom for a bit. 🙂 These are all ways to build your relationship with her and, when the day can get so busy, they’re also nice quiet moments that we can spend with her.
We don’t always get it all right when we try and figure out what the chimps want, but it is one of the most important parts of our work here so we always try… Even if it means disappearing from cleaning for a little while (thanks, Lizz and Courtney!)
Jamie’s group wasn’t the only side to explore outside today! Rayne, Gordo, Cy, Willy B, and Lucky all enjoyed some time out on the Bray this afternoon.
Rayne and Gordo going all the way to the top:
Your eyes didn’t deceive you- Rayne was rockin’ some Sporty Spice fashion on the Bray today!
Willy B enjoying the sunshine:
Terry being his handsome self:
Foxie enjoying lunch: