Chimp house mornings are quite busy. We begin by prepping meds and breakfast and putting together the day’s food puzzles, and then spend the next 4-5 hours cleaning enclosures. The chimps spend most of that time eating, playing, grooming, and occasionally squabbling with one another. When lunch is finally served, there is a bit of a reprieve from the more hurried morning pace. It is then that we begin to clean dishes, wash produce, fold laundry, prepare enrichment, and work on the blog. The chimps know that they can’t ask for too much of our time in the morning, but in the afternoon we will usually drop whatever we are doing to cater to their wishes.
Each chimp has their own preference when it comes to socializing with caregivers. Some prefer to take walks or play chase, while others would rather sit quietly and groom. With Gordo, I’m lucky if I can get a brief bunny hop out of him, while with Burrito, I’m lucky if I can ever get back to work. Foxie wants to play with dolls, Terry wants to groom boots, Lucky wants to pick scabs off and maybe create a few new ones, and Cy wants to give a few tickles. Willy B wants to watch movies on our phones, though if he could figure out how to do this without the need for humans he probably would. That said, he does sometimes play chase with us, which involves him running away and then bouncing up and down while facing the wall. Go figure.
These moments are play time for us caregivers, too, but they are every bit as important as the other work we do.
Are you joining us for the Comfort & Joy Virtual Gathering tonight at 5pm PT/8pm ET? If you can’t make it, there’s still time to visit the online auction and bid on items for yourself or for the chimps—including helping us complete those new climbing structures. The bidding ends 11/18!