Here’s a picture of Annie grooming herself in front of the window this afternoon. Enjoy!
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest
Nothing like a good face-grooming in the afternoon
Jody didn’t quite know what to make of the plastic chimp toy we put out for enrichment the other day. She decided to take things into her own hands and threw a “car” at the toy.
She got out of the way in case the toy retaliated.
I caught a couple of still photos the other day when Foxie was playing with her troll-in-the-sock while watching herself in the mirror. Missy did persist in trying to get Foxie’s attention and eventually engaged Foxie in play. I think they are both “kooks” 🙂
Today I discovered a new game with Foxie. I was having difficulty throwing her troll doll back to her (some days my aim is just off), so I put it in a sock and tossed it up, my thought being that she would have more to grab on to. It worked like a charm, and Foxie actually really liked the sock! She almost immediately flung it over her neck, walked down the stairs and began playing with it in front of the mirror. I am sure other chimpanzees have done this before, but it was the first time I have personally seen a chimp play in front of a mirror. She was so enamored with her own reflection playing, that she completely ignored Missy’s attempts to get her attention. For the rest of the day, Foxie carried around the sock, sometimes in her hand, sometimes over her shoulders, and once on the top of her head. Every once in a while she would go back to the mirror and play.
Today, Siebert had an op-ed printed in the New York Times entitled Something Wild. Here is an excerpt:
There is something about chimpanzees — their tantalizing closeness to us in both appearance and genetic detail — that has always driven human beings to behavioral extremes, actions that reflect a deep discomfort with our own animality, and invariably turn out bad for both us and them.
Siebert uses specific examples of chimpanzee individuals to illustrate humans’ uncomfortable relationship with our closest evolutionary relatives, and our stubborn desire to make them fit into our concepts of of who they are, which manifest not from observing and appreciating chimpanzees as a distinct species, but from our attempts to make them our human-like playthings as “pets” and “entertainers” or human surrogates in biomedical research.
Siebert explains what I have observed of captive chimpanzees – they live in a world of lost identity. They did not have the opportunity to grow up within a chimpanzee culture, but they cannot fit into our human culture either, no matter how hard we try to force them to.
Sanctuaries like Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest try to make the best out of the inherently unjust situation of captivity. We allow the chimpanzees to be who they are, which is sometimes a strange mix of learned “human” behaviors and a renewed expression of their instinctual chimpanzee selves. Our deepest hope is that we can provide for those in our care while working to ensure that one day sanctuaries like ours will not be necessary because chimpanzees will no longer be used for human purposes.
Thanks to everyone who came out last night to the wine tasting event in Roslyn. It was a great success! And it was so wonderful to see and meet so many supporters from the local (and regional) community. The chimps are lucky to have such a devoted following!
To make sure the chimps got to enjoy some of the spoils, Pam (a.k.a. CSNW’s Martha Stewart) sent the AMAZING table decorations for the chimps to enjoy. She wrapped pieces of tubing with banana leaves, veggies, and rafia. We added some peanut butter and threw them up on the top of the outdoor area. It created a little bit of a challenge – Missy and Jamie both worked hard to squeeze the tubes through the bars of the enclosure. Annie loved the banana leaves!
Jamie (with head band around her neck!):
Missy working to get the tube through:
Annie loved the banana leaves:
Missy getting the peanut butter goodness: