Today, we hung fire hose in the playroom. Since the chimps were locked in the front rooms while we worked, Sarah and Diana decided to give Jamie some yarn, a plastic needle and some plastic mesh to see if she would be interested in doing some needlepoint while she waited. Jamie, of course, was up to the challenge. J.B.
The chimps love forages. Rather than serving food hand to mouth or through the food chutes, we like to occasionally set out all of the food in the front rooms before the chimps come in for their meal. They get to watch us set everything up, and the anticipation makes the meal all the more enjoyable. When they are finally let in, they search through all of the bowls, buckets and boxes for their favorite foods. Here you can see (from left to right) Annie, Missy and Burrito munching on lettuce, frozen oranges and herbal tea (many thanks to the Cle Elum Safeway and Roslyn Natural Market for donating produce). Listen for the food grunts – a signal that they are enjoying the meal. J.B.
One of the many reasons why I love caring for chimpanzees is that they continually surprise me. This morning, Sarah and I opened the front rooms for cleaning, and we discovered that someone had modified one of their drinking fountains overnight, using a straw from their breakfast smoothie. It works much better now than it did before. J.B.
Like Foxie, Annie has also been coming out of her shell lately. Annie is naturally a bit shy with humans, but over the last couple of days she has been interacting more with her caregivers and using more of the enrichment items that we put out each day. She has also started to give us a great chimp greeting each morning when we arrive for work. J.B.
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.