If you’ve been following the blog for awhile you’ve probably seen us frequently writing about various aspects of safety and security. Things like the fact that we never enter an area that the chimpanzees have access to, the importance of clearly identifying each chimpanzee and which areas they do have access to all, as part of our safety checks before we enter an area we need to clean. (Diana mentioned chimp ID in a recent blog post as part of the training our Level II and III volunteers and interns go through.)
Of course the chimps don’t give two hoots (no pun intended) if we can identify them when we need to or not. We often have to twist and turn and climb and crawl and contort into all manner of positions in an attempt to positively identify each person. Many times all we might be able to see is an ear, a finger – or maybe a bum and some toes – so it can be a challenge to gain a better view.
For example, any ideas who this is?
As a disclaimer and if you’re new to the blog you are going to see the chimps behind caging in some of the following photos and it may appear they are limited to a small cage. The chimps tend to seek out small, cozy corners to nest in (don’t most of us?) and are often up against the caging so we can’t always get close enough to get a photo or to get one safely. And the reality is, the chimpanzees are captive beings, no matter how much space and light we provide through the designs of their enclosure, it is just that, an enclosure. While none of us like to see the chimps behind caging, it’s a reality for their safety as well as ours. And keep in mind they have 1800 square feet of open enclosure with stairs, a catwalk, bridges, ledges, fire hoses, a green house with tiered platforms and their beloved 2-acre outdoor enclosure, Young’s Hill.
We never identify a chimpanzee based on what items they may or may not have with them, but they definitely give us some clues. Any ideas who the following people are?:
The chimp house was SO quiet and peaceful and the only sound in the greenhouse was the rain falling on the roof. It’s not super common to have everyone sound asleep at the same time so I tried not to disturb anyone with my photo taking. But as quiet as I tried to be, nothing, and I mean nothing, gets by chimpanzees so it wasn’t long before a couple people began waking up to see what I was doing (I would tell you who is in the next three photos, but I don’t want to give away the above photos!):
Foxie was sound asleep on the floor of the front rooms, but despite my tactic of lying on my belly and crawling to sneak up to her, well, you see how that went.