We opened the door to let the chimps back onto Young’s Hill for the first time since the Taylor Bridge Fire hit the sanctuary property on August 13th. Gary Chittim and Ken Jones from King 5 were here to do a story today. You can see footage of the chimps’ excitement and steps out on the hill on King 5 News at 6:30pm in Seattle and online after the story airs (we’ll be sure to share the link once it’s on the web).
The chimpanzees haven’t been asking to go out much since the fire, which is a surprise, since they generally “remind us” in the mornings to open the door by standing by it and getting our attention or luring us over and sticking their fingers through the caging where the door opens.
J.B. and volunteers Brian and John have worked to clean up the hill by removing burned logs, reinforcing a damaged fence post, and dragging (tilling, in effect) the charred ground that covered half of the enclosure. J.B. found a sad relic on the hill that Gary Chittim will show on the King 5 broadcast tonight.
All of the staff joined in a final check of the hill yesterday afternoon so we were ready and anxious to give the chimps access after setting up a breakfast forage.
The chimps mostly stuck to the unburned areas.
Below is a photo of Jamie bringing a wrench out with her on to the hill. Maybe J.B. forgot to fix something?
And here she is with the burned ground in the background:
Annie did inspect the burned grass a bit:
And Missy ventured into the starkness of the top of the hill that was charred in the fire. You can see a ring of green grass coming up – that’s where the underground irrigation lines run to water the bamboo. We lost about half of the smaller bamboo in the fire: