As many of you know, we’ve been working around Honey B’s odd preferences this winter. She’s a strong-willed individual who voraciously defends her zone of control (which Willy B will attest to). Whatever everyone’s plans are for the day, she has a tendency to shake them up.
Today, Honey B brought more of that same energy.
As she frequently does, Honey declined to shift into the playroom and greenhouse after we cleaned them this morning. Instead, she opted to remain in her beloved front rooms, thus preventing us from servicing them all simultaneously. She watched indifferently as the others rushed out into the larger enclosures.
We’re not sure why Honey B chooses to stay in the smaller rooms; we’ve discussed several hypotheses, all of them equally plausible. Perhaps she prefers cozy spaces, enjoys watching the caregivers clean around her, or appreciates a few moments of seclusion from the other chimps. It’s also possible that she simply likes to introduce a little neutral chaos into our otherwise organized routine. We’ve seen her do just that on multiple occasions.
Whatever her reasoning may be, it’s interesting to watch how this mischievous chimp spends her time apart from the group. Today, she literally hung out in Front Room 7 as I swept, sprayed, scrubbed, rinsed and squeegeed the adjacent areas.
For the first few minutes, Honey B playfully swung on the firehose vines and made an earnest effort to dismantle the fasteners holding them together. Then, she found a toy brush to sweep some nut shells into a small pile. After that, she made a nest in the corner and lounged peacefully as I added fresh blankets and enrichment items to the other rooms.
As far as chimpanzee personalities go, Honey B is definitely on the more human-oriented end of the spectrum. Fortunately, she is also relatively well-adjusted to sharing space with familiar chimps. When I reunited her with her companions after cleaning the rest of their spaces, Honey B politely greeted Mave and Willy B before carrying on with her business elsewhere. All the residents of that wing enjoyed lunch service in their usual configuration and then dispersed out to the playrooms and greenhouses for some afternoon grooming.
Now, as I’m putting the finishing touches on this blog post, I keep glancing over at the new monitors that show our security camera feed. Honey B was just playfully interacting with Terry across the double barrier that separates their respective greenhouse enclosures. I could tell that it was going well by Terry’s exuberant bounces and head nods. They’ve come quite far from their first meeting, during which Honey B went all “honey badger” on poor unsuspecting Terry.
Whether she’s being asked to shift to another area or being introduced to a new friend, Honey B never lets things get boring around here.
P.S. If you didn’t get the “honey badger” reference and are feeling adventurous, you should do a YouTube search about them. I’m referring to the 2011 video with 98 million views. I’d post the link but the language used in the title is absolutely NSFW and thus not safe for the blog either…