We haven’t had the drone out in a while so this morning I thought I’d take the opportunity to film the chimps on their post-breakfast patrol. Counterclockwise patrols are actually pretty rare for this group, but I think some early morning drama had Jamie and the gang itching to check on their neighbors.
The Seven got off to an early start on Young’s Hill this morning, taking advantage of a short break in the near-constant rain we’ve been having this winter. Jamie took some of her breakfast to go, perhaps leading Missy to regret not saving any of her own.
Negra and Foxie waited for their neighbors to appear in the chute.
Missy and Burrito completed the first of many patrols.
Honey B, Willy B, and Mave continue to be enthralled with their new mirror. Honey B gazed at her reflection for a while this morning and later watched herself chew gum.
She managed to look dignified in all of the photos I took today, but the rest of the time she was making all of her human and chimpanzee friends laugh with her antics.
Willy B has been spending his time in front of the mirror investigating some teeth that appear to have gone missing.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the chimps have started to develop a new routine, the highlight of which is the pre-dinner display. Most of the chimps engage one another through the windows between the playroom and chute but Foxie has developed her own signature move, which involves pant hooting in front of the Howdy Door and then launching into a running double kick. After each kick, she listens intently for a response from the three on the other side of the wall. If she hears them, she screams and runs to her group mates for reassurance; if there’s no response, she launches another assault on the door.
While Foxie can work herself up into a frenzy this way, her friends don’t take her too seriously, as evidenced by Annie’s nonchalance.
The weather has been unusual this summer. As Katelyn noted yesterday, the temperatures have been cool and the skies have been misty at times. Today is a better example of a typical July day in central Washington- dry, sunny, and warm- and the sanctuary residents are making the most of it. The chimps enjoyed their breakfast while basking in the sunlight on the upper decking of the Greenhouse. The meal included some generously donated green apples and was lovingly served by Level III volunteer Miranda (below).
Afterwards, the chimps seemed to be sufficiently full of fruit and chow and appeared to be extremely content as they slipped into mid-morning naps in various corners of the Greenhouse. Neggie, per usual, settled in a ring of blankets on the upper deck (below), and even Jamie seemed to doze off between bouts of monitoring the caregivers through the playroom window.
Annie sprawled out on the lower decking, tucked her feet in, and inspected the writing on the underside of a toy (below).
Per usual, Missy stationed herself next to Annie and used the opportunity to give herself a quick groom (below). All was quiet in the Greenhouse.
Even when they’re resting and recharging, however, the chimpanzees don’t miss any of the events unraveling around them. Each part of the facility offers a unique view of the surrounding valley, enabling the chimps to be the sentinels of their own territory. Everything the light touches is theirs, and everything that occurs within sight is their business. This morning, that included the team of laborers constructing a new access road that will soon flank the sanctuary to the East (below).
As soon as they started working, Missy took notice (below). Then Annie sat upright and began to follow along. Soon, everyone was spilling out of the raceway onto Young’s Hill to check out the action.
Jamie led the way up the hill, pausing at regular intervals to watch the distant excavation. I could only imagine what she was thinking, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if she was analyzing the grade of the switchbacks or making sure the workers were wearing the proper protective equipment. She’s always supervising.
Foxie and her tiny troll doll traveled in the vanguard, providing Jamie with support and monitoring the situation (below). Missy, Annie, Jody and Burrito all followed close behind. (Neggie “kept watch” over her nest in the Greenhouse.)
Even with all of the planned activities and provisioned objects that the staff and volunteers provide, unexpected events can be the best source of enrichment for the chimps. Both free-ranging and captive chimpanzees engage in regular boundary patrols to survey the landscape and monitor neighboring communities, so unexpected changes can make things interesting. With all of the new developments in their vicinity, the chimps have a lot to keep tabs on as summer progresses and they seem to welcome the responsibility.
As you may have read on the blog, the chimps recently encountered a snake in one of the bamboo groves. The snake was clearly still on their minds on they ventured out onto the hill this morning.
They had all night to think about how scary it was and to dwell on the fact that it had eluded capture. It could still be out there.
Jamie immediately led a patrol to the area where the snake was last seen.
Foxie, Missy, Annie, Burrito, and Jody all followed but began to peel off one by one as the approached the bamboo grove.
It would be up to Jamie. Alone but undeterred, she climbed onto a structure to scan the grass for any sign of the intruder.
She moved from one vantage point to the next without setting foot on the ground below.
She watched patiently from the safety of her fire hose perch.
She searched for any sign of movement in the grass.
For all she knew, it could be right underneath her.
At last, she gave the all clear. But that didn’t mean that she was going to push her luck. There are plenty of other places to hang out besides that particular bamboo grove.
Which may very well still be hiding a snake.
The day after the success of Giving Day for Apes was a beautiful fall day at the sanctuary. I joke that the chimpanzees are truly Pacific Northwest chimps because they seem to love cool overcast days the most.
Whenever I go up to the chimp house, I expect that I will go on a walk with Jamie – it’s what she likes to do. On this day, Burrito was even more eager to walk than Jamie! In fact, as the video reveals, the three of us did three rounds around the hill, with some meandering in between for those two.
I know that Burrito had no idea we were promoting his story and people were donating in his honor, but it was fitting that he was in such a great, enthusiastic, full-of-life, mood.
Thank you again for everyone who donated and helped exceed our goal!
Enjoy your walk with Burrito and Jamie!
For Jamie, patrolling Young’s Hill is serious business. Tell that to Jody, Foxie, Annie, and Missy, who all seem like they’re having a little too much fun.