What a difference a day makes

May 28th, 2013 by Katelyn

We have been having many days of much needed, but seemingly never ending, rain here at the sanctuary.  And let me tell you, Jamie has had a bee in her bonnet for days.  And when Jamie’s not happy she makes it well known.  I can’t really blame her as it’s hard to be stuck inside after we have had so many beautiful days recently.  As caregivers, it is always first in our minds as to how we can make the days better for the chimps, particularly when they aren’t able to go outside.  Yesterday, despite our best efforts, Jamie was a grouchy lady and let it be known in no uncertain terms that she wanted nothing to do with any of our suggestions.  But today the humans and chimpanzees finally awoke to sunny skies.  Everyone was in a good mood and JB even got a laugh from Annie, who typically reserves those for her raucous games of chase with her best friend, Missy.  We put a breakfast forage on Young’s Hill to make the most of the day and the chimps were all lined up waiting for the door to open.  They immediately all filed through the raceway together with Negra (!) in the lead. Everyone spread out, foraging through the now significantly taller grass, food squeaking with joy (we are hoping to have some great footage of this from the GoPro camera on the hill soon).  And then much to our surprise, we spotted Jamie trying her hand at tightrope walking across the fire hose bridge!  While this is usually a classic Missy move, I’d say Jamie is giving her a run for her money.  And the best thing yet? That bee that’s been in Jamie’s bonnet seems to have flown off.

web Jamie tightrope firehose yh I IMG_8613

web Jamie tightrope firehose yh II IMG_8614

web Jamie tightrope firehose yh III IMG_8615

web Jamie tightrope firehose yh IV IMG_8616

I love Jamie’s face in this last picture.  It almost looks as though she’s giving herself a little congratulatory cheer.  I would look like that as well if I had just been able to do a tightrope walk across the fire hose bridge!

web Jamie tightrope firehose yh V IMG_8623

15 Responses to “What a difference a day makes”

  1. Patti says:

    So glad that Jamie and the others are in better spirits! I can’t blame them for being grouchy (still dark and rainy here in Seattle!). Love the pics!

  2. Benjamin Pavsner says:

    YAY JAMIE! I guess she saw how much fun Missy’s been having.

  3. Benjamin Pavsner says:

    BTW I guess all that exercise is show it’s reward.

  4. Ivy M. Yardley says:

    Cute Blog. Love the photos of Jamie. I’d say, “yes, Jamie is giving Missy a run for her money.” Better yet – Negra as the first one out the gate! Yeah Negra! 🙂

  5. Cody Marie Phoenix says:

    Joao at Chimp Eden in South Africa is the same way when he doesn’t get his sunny days. But he’s over 60 so I guess he’s allowed. I guess Jamie and the rest of the 7 might not understand after they’ve been given that outside freedom why some days it’s just not going to happen.

    Do you think if they were allowed out in the rain they would make a choice to return to the greenhouse?

    Thanks for the great photos of Jamie! 😀

    • Katelyn says:

      Hi Cody,

      It’s definitely impossible to imagine how the chimps were able to survive decades in cages the size of bathroom stalls without even a view of the outdoors. Thankfully, the chimps are able to have access to Young’s Hill the majority of the time, regardless of the weather. Young’s Hill is enclosed by electrical fencing and wet weather can sometimes cause the voltage to drop lower than our minimum for safe operating standards. JB does an amazing job keeping the surrounding area as clear and dry as possible but sometimes we just have to wait out the weather. But the chimps hate getting wet and do typically prefer to wait it out (if somewhat impatiently) from the comfort of the greenhouse. Thanks for your question!

  6. Wanda Trotta says:

    Guess we all have our “prickly” days! This lady is definitely a pistol:) But hey we all deserve a down day or so – makes the good ones that much better!

  7. Humphrey says:

    Great post Katelyn! and of course , accompanied by fabulous pics. :

  8. Jeani Goodrich says:

    Beautiful pictures! I love Jamie’s thighs. They have really gotten well built!! Those runs around Young’s Hill are paying off! Glad y’all finally got the sun. And you go Negra!! What a girl!!

    • Katelyn says:

      Hi Jeani,

      Yes, I think everyone here (humans included) is getting a good work out from Young’s Hill runs! 🙂

  9. Rita Stevenson says:

    To J.B. ~
    Is there any way possible that you can build a overhead through way(bridge) with a removable canopy.. FAUNA has one as does Chimps Inc.. that way, the chimps can still enjoy being outside with out getting wet . Perhaps you could build an elevated extension from the chimp house, so they can have a new area to hang out, It’ s just a thought.. You are VERY creative, and so good at constructing buildings etc for the chimps, I hope you consider this, Thanks,

    • J.B. says:

      Hi Rita,

      Those overhead tunnels are a big hit with the chimps at those sanctuaries and they’d be a great addition to our facility but they are quite costly to build. Maybe someday!

      For now, Young’s Hill has a number of covered areas and pretty soon the wall panels of the greenhouse will come off for the summer, so when it rains the chimps will have a 600 sq ft covered outdoor area.

  10. Kerri says:

    Is there any indication that the girls are bothered by their “swelling”? Does the size or frequency change from captive and wild, free living chimps?

    • Katelyn says:

      Hi Kerri,

      Good questions! As far as we know, the size and frequency of swellings are the same between captive and wild chimpanzees, although they can vary in size a bit with each individual. Their cycles average approximately 35 days.

      There is no indication that their swellings are painful, but they do appear to pay more attention to them when they are at their peak (grooming/touching). Whether this is because they are uncomfortable or not, we can’t say.

  11. […] week Katelyn posted about Jamie’s reaction to a relief from the rainy days of May. I have to admit, I’m right there with her! I, too, […]