Anna and volunteer Becca got some great footage of the chimps going on the offensive against a snake yesterday. Don’t mess with Foxie!
This post may reflect what I would like to be doing on this cold and damp day…
In any case, below are some photos – some oldish and some newish – of the chimpanzees getting snuggly with blankets. We give out at least 60 blankets a day. Sixty is a somewhat arbitrary number, but it’s based on the amount that we can successfully get washed in a normal day with our current washer. We (and the chimps) like fleece blankets, because they are very comfy and the wash and dry fast and easy.
As you probably know, Negra is never far from a blanket, and she often has one draped over her head and/or shoulders:
The photo above is on the holiday card available for purchase in our Zazzle merchandise store!
Missy sometimes “imitates” Negra’s blanket style, even nesting in Negra’s usual spots:
Always the athlete/acrobat, however, Missy incorporates interesting moves when she is nesting. For the full nesting sequence the photo below was taken from, see this post:
Jamie also occasionally sports a blanket over her head when nesting:
though she often chooses a sheet instead of a blanket for the job:
Jody is known for her nest making (she also likes straw nests – see this video from 2009 as an example):
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jody with a blanket over her head, but she still looks darn cozy when she’s curled up in her blanket nest:
Annie is also a nest builder, and can frequently be found gathering nesting material and moving it to another area:
Once she’s made her nest to her liking, she always strikes me as very satisfied:
Burrito and Foxie are not much into building nests. Though nesting has a strong instinctual component, it seems there is a period of learning involved. Both Burrito and Foxie do mostly what we call “phantom nesting.” Once in a while, Foxie will actively nest with blankets:
but more often than not, she has a more passive relationship with all of the blankets we give out:
Burrito is also more on the passive side of the spectrum when it comes to nesting, though he does like to snuggle up, particularly when someone else has done the work of making the nest:
Let us not forget, blankets are not just for nesting, but can also be great props when playing too:
I hope this inspires you to get snuggled up in your own nest tonight, or maybe play a game of ghost with a friend?
Chimps are very investigative, defensive, and at times aggressive. Combine all these characteristics and add a small garter snake into the equation and you get a whole group of chimps ready to attack an intruder! This morning a garter snake made its way into the greenhouse and the chimps were on high alert. Everyone took a second to peer at it, but most kept their distance. Foxie, however, showed a lot of bravery and was doing her best to protect her home by trying to attack the snake (but without touching it).
The chimps encounter snakes every now and then. They’re very careful not too get too close to something that raises so much alarm, which is a smart instinct. Thankfully, garter snakes are completely harmless so there’s nothing to really worry about if they do touch it. In fact after filming this attack, I closed off the greenhouse and picked up the snake (who was still alive) and took him to a nice garden area that I thought he’d pretty happy about. I apparently don’t have a huge fear of snakes because I was holding him for awhile, talking to volunteers Patti and Connie about how we were going to set up today’s lunch forage, when they said “will you just put that snake down already?!” Like I said, harmless 🙂
The snakes seem to be good at “playing dead” so as not to actually get killed. At the end of the video you’ll see that Jamie was fairly convinced Foxie had taken care of the problem, and then left it alone. I was glad to be able to rescue it and find that he was not at all harmed.