Jamie and her ukulele

February 27th, 2012 by Debbie

The chimps usually are not too interested in music (or any noise-making things in general) but today Jamie was really interested in playing this toy ukulele. She carried it around for most of the afternoon! She kept looking at it very up close, and my assumption is that she was trying to figure out how the noise was coming from the hole in the ukulele.

17 Responses to “Jamie and her ukulele”

  1. Dr. Mel says:

    Show Jamie this…

  2. marie cross (uk) says:

    this is priceless she looks very pleased with herself , but then everyone knows any good cowgirl needs a uke for around the campfire :-)

  3. A fascinating view of the thoughtful and concentrating chimp genius Jamie! I love it!

  4. leslie sodaro says:

    ah, the hawaiian uke, good to know that the chimps are not into making their own Musak, but she was getting some pretty decent sound out of her uke.

    • Debbie says:

      Every once in awhile the chimps will play other musical toys, like pianos or tambourines. But it never really engages them for long, so I was surprised to see how long Jamie was enriched by this ukulele! It looked like so much fun.

  5. Linda (Portland, OR) says:

    What a super-girl our Jamie is. In another week I bet she can give Eric Clapton a run for his money!! This is just another example of how amazing Jamie is!

  6. Marcia Douthwaite says:

    I loved the smile on her face as she was playing it, the stroke of one finger and the fine tuning of the strings!! Have they ever played with the rain sticks, etc I sent some time ago? Jamie is a chimp of many talents. Thanks, Debbie.

    • J.B. says:

      Marcia – Because the rain sticks have so many tiny beads in them that could end up in the septic system, we don’t give them to the chimps directly. Instead, the caregivers bring them out to demonstrate for the chimps. And, as you might expect, Jamie is especially interested in them.

  7. Sara Lissabet, Fairfax says:

    That Jamie is one consummate artist! Not only is she a painter and a weaver but she’s a musician too!

    I know that Jamie’s interest in things artistic is a result of her time spent with humans. I know that, as a chimp in the wild, she would probably be afraid or distrustful of something purple that made noise. However, it’s these behaviors that have enabled me to connect more emotionally with the chimpanzees.

    Even when I was young I didn’t like seeing chimpanzees in situations (commercials, circuses) where people got to laugh at them. I always felt this was wrong because we resemble each other so closely; it just felt disrespectful. As I learned about chimpanzees through Jane Goodall and Diann Fosse’s research, I learned about the animal part of their species. But I was equally as fascinated with Koko – her ability to communicate and to love her kitten pet. (And then, of course, there was Suryia, the orangutan and her dog.)

    CSNW gives me the opportunity to continue to learn about the animal species through your educational stories, comments and videos, but the you (and the chimps) also still give me the chance to experience amazement at how close we really can be, such as when Jamie cleans and strums her ukulele or paints artwork we can buy.

  8. Gayle says:

    Hmmmm….. I wonder how she would do with a drum set?? LOL!

  9. diane says:

    She has talent. Jamie has a good ear. She repeated the same notes. I don’t think it was completely random. She also has rhythm. She nodded her head in time to the music.

  10. lulu says:

    Did she pick the ukulele up again on another day, or was this a one time interest?

    • Debbie says:

      I know that she was playing it still the very next day, but I don’t know how long it lasted beyond that. The next time I worked in the chimp house the ukulele was nowhere to be found, so my guess is that is was broken (chimpanzees can be a bit destructive sometimes). I’m sure if she had another ukulele like it, she’d be interested in playing!

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