Wednesday was an eventful day. The drain for the front rooms was clogged, so J.B. rented a plumbing snake to try to clear it. Jamie is always interested when there’s equipment around, so she was watching J.B. as he worked on the drain. Maybe she felt a little left out, or maybe she had been thinking about this for a while, but, for whatever reason, she decided to do some surface destruction to part of the wall in the playroom.
And there went J.B.’s plan for the day.
Volunteer Kailie was serving lunch in the front rooms when Jamie was doing her redecorating. With the added incentive of a few grapes, I was able to convince Jamie to come into the front rooms along with everyone else so that I could close off the playroom for J.B. to patch the wall. He wasn’t sure how long it was going to take to patch things up, but it was likely going to be a few hours.
They still had plenty of places to be – the front rooms, the greenhouse, and Young’s Hill (it was a mild, sunny day). But there had been some tension in the group lately, so I immediately started thinking about activities that might keep them busy and maybe out of each other’s way. I had a couple of things in mind and decided to see what they were up to so I could assess the situation.
Lo and behold, I found all seven chimpanzees occupying just a few square feet on the top of the structure of the green house! Negra was in her spot on the corner napping (she’s the only one you can’t see in the photo below), and the rest were huddled up in pairs grooming.
Perhaps Jamie had some sort of master plan to cause an incident so everyone would bond and work out the tensions they were having with one another. Probably not, but isn’t that a nice interpretation?
The chimps were not bothered at all by being locked out of the playroom. At one point, Annie and Negra were in the front rooms playing. Luckily, I was able to grab a camera and get some of their play session, which is one of the funniest things I’ve filmed in a long time. Be prepared to laugh out loud.
J.B. got the wall patched up in a few short hours and the playroom was ready for the chimpanzees to go back into after their dinner. They weren’t the least bit anxious to get back to that space – even Jamie, who I would have thought would want to inspect J.B.’s handiwork asap.
It just goes to show that the chimpanzees are not predictable, and sometimes an unexpected change to the routine can result in wanting to playfully push all of the air out of your friend (see video above).