Mother Nature just keeps on giving.
Today, well after the other chimpanzees had moved on to other post-lunch activities (specifically nesting, napping, and grooming), I “caught” Annie going through the front rooms and collecting uneaten Brussels sprouts, then taking her found food to the playroom to enjoy.
Just a few minutes later, I saw Foxie do the same thing, but this time with avocado peels (in the first photo below, see Foxie’s signature happy toes and small orange-haired troll doll stationed nearby):
Foxie was working diligently to get every last bit of avocado flesh. The chimpanzees have enjoyed an abundance of avocados lately, thanks to donations of Charlie’s Produce via Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, and that has suited Foxie just fine.
As a bonus, for those who are wondering what the bovines have been up to, here’s a video I took yesterday!
I once learned in a primate behavior class that adult chimps don’t tend to play much unless they’re playing with juveniles. Clearly, nobody gave the Cle Elum Seven the news. These are a few of my favorite play videos:
The days after a snowstorm (or series of snowstorms) are so wonderful, aren’t they? It’s like reawakening to a changed world.
J.B., with the help of volunteer Jonathan, made some pathways in the snow for the chimpanzees today. The chimps watched the work being done for them from the greenhouse. When everything was ready for them, they went outside to stretch their legs a bit, take in the landscape, and get some snow to snack on.
Burrito following Annie:
Jody and Missy:
You may have already guessed that Negra wasn’t with the first expedition of the morning, but instead stayed inside until afternoon:
Jamie, meanwhile, was preoccupied with a couple of magazines. In fact, she’s more preoccupied with photos of boots than with boots themselves lately.
She did take the time to go outside to grab a big chuck of snow after lunch before returning to a magazine:
The chimpanzees still don’t do much lounging on Young’s Hill. They spend quiet moments outside, to be sure, but it’s rare to see any of them just fully relax like they do when they’re indoors. Even when we’ve put out blankets, we haven’t seen them really nest.
Perhaps because they spent decades living indoors in laboratories without access to big open spaces, the outdoors seem to require more vigilance. I guess I feel the same way, come to think of it.
This morning, I did catch Foxie lying down way up high on the structure donors named “Jamie’s Lookout”.
You might notice that she’s still holding onto the ladder.
Even with this tether to security, you can tell that she is happy because she’s rubbing her big toe and second toe together – a classic and unique sign of happiness for Foxie.
Missy noticed Foxie in repose, and came over with a big playface. Then ensued a very short tickle/wrestle game (so short I didn’t capture a decent photo).
Missy then spied on J.B. who was with the cattle on the other property,
took a moment to sit next to the now upright Foxie,
and resumed her position on the other side of the lookout.
Foxie did some careful inspecting of the structural integrity of the platform before making her way back down.
We have a lot of people to thank for helping us work on this important stage. As you may already know, staff caregivers operate the chimpanzees’ current doors using a remote controlled pneumatic lever system. In our new Phase 1 chimpanzee area, we will be using a hydraulic door operating system. As you can watch in the above video, we got to see the first door in motion this morning!
To get this first door up and moving, Ozzie from Spencer Fluid Power donated a hydraulic power unit to the sanctuary. Gary and his team from Sage Mechanical donated and installed all of our hydraulic pipe, fittings and covers. The actual doors were given to us last winter by Central Washington University before the former Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute building was demolished. Here’s JB’s post about it from February 2018. We are so grateful to all the members of our community who have been so willing to donate their time and money to helping with this exciting expansion project. We can’t wait to Bring them Home!
Last week, you may recall that I had a difficult time choosing a subject for a blog post. Well, here’s an explanation of one of the reasons why.
The enrichment theme for that day was “reading day” and Jamie took that to heart.
She seemed particularly enamored with a Dwell magazine. I even saw her gather up the magazine when she was moving from the front rooms to the playroom.
We see the chimpanzees carry blankets from one space to another and their favorite things (dolls for Foxie, boots for Jamie, wooden or plastic objects for Burrito), but it was the first time I’ve seen a chimpanzee so deliberately take a magazine that wasn’t smeared with peanut butter into a new space.
I didn’t get a sense that it was any particular page that she was interested in, as she carefully and thoroughly looked through the entire magazine:
Included in the reading day was a large catalog full of all sorts of products. When I went into the playroom in the evening to spot clean one last time, I found the catalog on the catwalk opened to this page:
Did boot-loving Jamie purposely leave the catalog for me to find, hinting at a future gift idea?