Happy Friday! Finally, you’ve made it to the weekend! I thought I would help us all slide into this weekend with a fun video of Foxie playing. Foxie loves to interact with her chimp & human friends! She knows how to loosen individuals up and get them to relax and be silly. Foxie can even get Jamie to stop monitoring the humans and play! Foxie really does enjoy seeking out her human caregivers. As you will see in the video Foxie’s play style allows her to be perfectly happy playing with chimps, humans, or even just enjoying alone time with her dolls!
Well, as promised I have a fun video of Missy being goofy! Recently Missy has been letting loose with her caregivers. She has been seeking people out, asking to be groomed, and wanting to play! It’s fun when you see the chimps feel relaxed and comfortable, I mean that is the point of sanctuary. There are many moments throughout the days of work where I have these realizations. This isn’t their natural habitat, they should be in the wild. But if they have to be in confinement, I am happy they are here, getting the best care possible.
In the video you all will see little Miss ripping up a boot with very minimal effort. Chimps are so strong, it is a good reminder that although there are 1,000 other reasons chimps do not belong as pets, one good one is they can do a lot of damage with out trying and in a matter of seconds. Though the chimps can be sweet there is a side that can be unpredictable and in those moments a lot of destruction or harm can happen. **Disclaimer** Jamie was not not mad about that specific boot being torn up!
Here are a few photos I snapped from this morning.
Annie still rockin’ 2 sweatbands:
And Jamie about to walk out of the raceway for her morning patrol:
As Anna mentioned yesterday, the humans are hard at work getting ready for our new arrivals. The quarantine area is almost done, with just a few items remaining on our punch list. The big project we’re working on now is the installation of an overhead chute that will connect the indoor quarantine enclosures to an extension of Young’s Hill. This will accomplish two things: First, it will give the new chimps a way to get some fresh air while they’re still under strict quarantine, which prohibits sharing access to the existing enclosures for health reasons; and second, it will provide the new chimps with a way to access Young’s Hill after quarantine but before they are fully integrated into the existing group. This second point is important, because successful introductions are never guaranteed and even successful intros can stretch on for many months.
The reason for elevating the chute is to maintain access for people and equipment around the building, something that gets trickier as sanctuaries grow and get more complex. Plus, chimps just seem to love overhead chutes.
The team behind the project is led by Gary McInnis of Sage Mechanical (pictured above with a section of the new chute outside his workshop). We were first introduced to Gary through our good friend Ozzie at Spencer Fluid Power, who generously donated a hydraulic unit to power the chimp doors we inherited from the former Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute. Gary visited the sanctuary with Ozzie last fall to help advise us and before long he had offered to donate all of the labor and materials required to hook up the doors. He then asked about the caging we were building and offered to do that job for 25% less than the lowest bid we receive. All told, Sage Mechanical has donated $35,000 worth of materials and labor this year to help us create a home for Honey B, Willy B, and Mave. It’s rare for us to get to work with a group as generous and committed to the sanctuary as Gary and his team.
While the humans are working hard to get everything ready, the chimps are free to do as they please. For Missy and Annie, that often means playing. For Negra, it usually means a good nap. But once and a while she will get a little playful, as you can see in the video above.
I walked out to the Green House to attempt to get a few photos for the blog and to my delight Burrito and Jody were breathy panting, wrestling, and play biting. I had to do a double take! There was no way that this was happening AND I had the camera on hand! While I was double checking that this was real I looked over to Jody who had the biggest drooped lip. Jody looked so content. She was having fun but also did not have to get up and over exert herself. Burrito couldn’t have looked happier and he was playing so gently. It was so fun to watch, however I didn’t stay long because I didn’t want to ruin the moment. I hope you all enjoy!
When Jamie and Foxie decide to play, it is so fun to watch! They are hanging upside down, chasing each other, Jamie takes Foxie’s doll, and they can be found wrestling on the floor breathy panting. This time I caught them doing all of those things, but along the way Foxie found a big nut in the Playroom and Jamie wanted it. Jamie did not stop playing however. The nut just became part of the game. In the video at one point it looks like Jamie is trying to gently shake the nut out of Foxie’s mouth. You will see a lot of different tactics in the video like play biting, toe/foot grabbing, eye pokes, tickling, and belly pokes; but that one was a new one to me. I hope this brings joy to you on your Wednesday!
Also thank you to everyone who participated in the pop quiz blog yesterday! Everyone did so great! I put and answer key in the comments with explanations in case anyone want more info!
Burrito was laying in what we sometimes call the portrait studio, because it normally has great lighting and we can get stellar close-ups of the chimps. I went over to snap a few photos, but Burrito had a different idea. All Burrito wanted to do was play! Which I could not blame him! When you look into his Burrito eyes you would never deny him the simple joy of playing! So as you all will be able to tell it was hard to get a still photo of Burrito today.
There were so many amazing photos leftover from Jody’s 44th birthday bash , so I thought I would share just a few more!
Annie munching on a leek:
Jamie and Negra seeking some reassurance for this overly exciting forage:
The birthday girl Jo laying down enjoying all the snacks she gathered from the forage:
Negra surround by corn husks and lettuce:
Boss Jamie is not generally light-hearted. She runs a tight ship and she takes her job seriously. It’s rare to catch her playing with anyone, but when we do, it’s almost always with Foxie, and it’s almost always the same game.
Jamie knows that a surefire way to get Foxie’s attention is to swipe one of her beloved dolls, because Foxie will inevitably join Jamie’s game of keepaway.
Jamie (left, plotting) and Foxie (right, oblivious):
The theft is complete and Jamie makes her getaway.
All the way down to the ground…
Foxie follows, as Jamie knew she would.