Already, we are seeing big differences in the chimpanzees’ personalities. Until now, Foxie had been fairly quiet and reserved. But today, she surprised us by playing a full-fledged game of chase. It is possible that this is the farthest she’s been able to run in her entire life. J.B.
Because that’s the way she wants it! Jamie is very human-centered. When we clean the enclosures, she cleans on the other side. When we sit down to take a break, she sits near us. When we go to take photos of the chimps…all we get is Jamie. Not that we mind, but we are anxious to introduce you to the rest of the group. We promise we’ll write more about the other chimpanzees, as soon as Jamie lets us. J.B.
We recently gave the chimpanzees a bunch of plastic mirrors, thanks to a generous donation by Laird Plastics. The chimpanzees were thrilled to be able to examine their own faces. Foxie even used her mirror to practice her “hoot face”. But Negra had something else in mind. She has been using them to spy on us with her back turned. Now she won’t even sit down with us face to face! J.B.
Today was a good day. Jamie greeted us wearing a necktie she fashioned out of a strip of sheet. Negra was stubborn about leaving the front rooms after breakfast (while it sometimes messes with the routine, stubbornness is a characteristic I find completely understandable in captive chimpanzees, and I actually appreciate when someone decides they can choose to do what they want rather than going with what the humans want). For dinner, we had a big watermelon forage, and, for the first time since they arrived, the building erupted in food grunts. Then, during dinner, Missy sat in a banana box and ate her watermelon. What more could anyone ask for in a day at a chimpanzee sanctuary? Diana
On the Road
Wednesday, June 11
I am thrilled to finally be writing to you en route to the sanctuary. We began Day 1 in Pennsylvania with temperatures nearing 100 degrees. While the chimpanzees have a tough trip ahead of them, they do at least have air conditioning. Now in Day 2 of our trip, we are abandoning the a/c for heat – the temperatures in Minnesota are struggling to get out of the 50’s and the rain is incessant. We are keeping our fingers crossed that flooding in this area does not affect our trip.
The chimpanzees are in good spirits considering the circumstances. We stop to check on them and give them meals and treats every 3 to 4 hours, and they are of course happy to see us. We only wish there was a way to let them know that they have nothing to fear from this trip.
We are driving almost non-stop. With two drivers in each vehicle, we take turns driving and sleeping so the entire trip should take only 2 1/2 days. By Friday, the chimpanzees should be moved into the front rooms at the sanctuary, and if all goes well, they will soon be exploring their new play room and enjoying some of the wonderful gifts that our Open House guests delivered last week.