We set up a great forage in celebration of the 4th for the chimpanzees tonight. On the menu: large paper bags full of lettuce and cabbage leaves with a surprise baked apple hidden amongst the greens, and individual buckets with vegan hot dogs, corn on the cob, and watermelon. Diana
J.B. was just taking some video of Annie and Missy playing, and a surprise third person joined the play session. We had to post it right away. It’s our longest video post yet, but I’ve already watched it three times. That play face made my day. I guess that’s why we call the big room the playroom. Diana
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.
Some friends to the Northeast in Canada, sent a generous donation last week. We used a tiny bit of it for some fun toys like this Pirates of the Caribbean tent. Jamie, Jody, Missy and Annie all had their turn playing with it, then it ended up being part of Jody’s bed.
It’s 8pm on Thursday night, and I’m so excited to share the latest report on the “Freedom Van,” as one of our favorite people is calling it. We expect them to pull in tomorrow morning around 8:30am PT.
Things are so exciting around here! Amidst all the preparations for the chimpanzees (like sorting enrichment, chopping fruit, and organizing the kitchen) I keep thinking about what a new beginning tomorrow will be. It holds a lot of potential firsts for our seven new friends: first blankets, first smoothies, first oatmeal, first view of the beautiful Yakima River! But most importantly, the first day of freedom. We hope our new friends will never look back. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell them what’s in store? Stay tuned for more tomorrow!
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.