Our cold snap seems to be over for the time being. Today’s high of 30° is a marked improvement over the highs in the teens that we’ve been experiencing for the last several days. This combined with some welcome sunshine means that Jamie is very eager to get outside. Unfortunately, the chimps’ outdoor habitat is still covered with a thick blanket of snow (including several inches of fresh powder from last night). Jamie briefly considered shoveling herself a path out, but ultimately thought better of it.
Jamie gets a special kind of pleasure from trying to destroy things that I have just repaired.
Not only are chimpanzees adept at using tools and solving puzzles, but they are also good at planning ahead. When Jamie is confronted with a difficult problem, she often disappears for a while and returns with a tool that will help her solve it.
Age: 38ish. Her exact birthday is unknown, but she was likely born in 1977. We celebrate her birthday on Halloween to celebrate her mischievous personality. Check out the following link to find out more about Jamie’s story prior to arriving at CSNW.
Nicknames: James. She is also referred to as “The Boss”
Favorite food: Pears
What she is known for: She’s known for being the leader, the one in charge (of the other chimps and us humans too!). She absolutely loves her cowboy/girl boots and doing perimeter patrols around her outdoor enclosure (sometimes walking until it’s dark). And she demands her human caregivers put on one or more boots and walk with her (humans walk on the outside of the fence, while she walks inside). She is an excellent tool user and loves using them for projects around the sanctuary.
Distinguishing physical characteristics: She is very muscular, has dark freckles on her face and her nipples are pink. Many caregivers (and blog readers) know her by her perfect posture and her distinctive strut, especially when she’s walking around Young’s Hill.
Personality: Where do I begin? It’s complicated; she’s complicated! I think Elizabeth did a great job of summarizing her contradicting personality characteristics. She’s extremely intelligent and serious, yet she has a playful side. And as much as she is demanding, bossy, stubborn, intense, mischievous and moody, she is also determined, passionate and uninhibited.
What could a spoon possibly be used for at a tea party? Well, if you’re Jamie chimpanzee, everything is a potential tool. And tools can be used for just about any activity; you just have to use your imagination.
One of the first nearly chimp-proof enrichment items the chimpanzees had after arriving to the sanctuary was a “boat bumper” donated by long-time supporter Kathy Benson, who found it at a garage sale.
Below is a photo of Annie (yawning) holding the toy. This was taken in July of 2008, less than a month after the chimpanzees arrived.
Recently, I searched on amazon for the same thing, remembering how much fun it had been for the chimps all those years ago. It turns out the big ones are fairly expensive, and I didn’t know if it would last as long, so I opted to get a small version and see how things went…
I do like how portable this version is –
but given Jamie and Missy’s keen interest in “opening” the ball, I’m not sure how long it will last. What do you think?
The chimps at CSNW make and use tools throughout the day. Here are just a few examples from this morning: