Grooming has very little to do with hygiene. And while we tend to play up the political aspect of grooming, it’s not all quid pro quo, either. Sometimes it’s just a desire for comfort, or in Annie’s case, an expression of absolute and all-consuming love for her best friend, Missy.
Missy and Annie were having a quiet grooming session this morning but they just could help themselves and before long Annie was playfully biting Missy’s toes.
Annie and Missy have been best friends for years.
In fact, their friendship was evident during our very first visit to meet them in the laboratory. But the relationship wasn’t always equal. Missy has very clearly always loved Annie, but for Annie, it was more than love. For a time, she was completely dependent on Missy. She would become visibly anxious if Missy even started to play with another chimp. And when Young’s Hill was built, it made it possible for Missy to go off on her own and not even be within Annie’s sight. When that happened, Annie would sit at the bottom of the hill, rocking, and waiting for her friend to return safely.
Thankfully, Annie has grown more confident since then. These days, she seems totally content to sit on the hill by herself while Missy is off patrolling with Jamie.
It seems that Annie has learned to navigate the world on her own, even if it’s only for ten minutes at a time.
Supporter Annie Norris has a best friend named Missy and was excited to learn that Annie and Missy of the Cle Elum Seven are also best friends. She said it was okay for us to share this little page she made of the BFFs. I took it a step further and dug up some other photos of the chimp best friends. Do you know any Annie & Missy best friends?