Moments with Jamie

July 17th, 2017 by Katelyn

Jamie enjoyed a particularly relaxing moment this afternoon as she had Jake, one of the graduate students who is currently in training to be a volunteer caregiver, groom her back. She’s training him very well:

I’d like to share a story about Jamie from today that although we couldn’t get photos of, is too wonderful not to include you in. After lunch Jamie asked for her favorite pair of boots and began building a nest with them, which is pretty typical. When Kelsi and I walked down the human hallway of the chimp house awhile later we found her sound asleep and snuggled up with an empty boot box we’d given the chimps for enrichment. When Jamie saw us (because there’s no sneaking up on a chimpanzee), she immediately got excited and asked to go on a walk. Kelsi had put on another boot when suddenly Jamie grabbed the boot box and opened it up. Much to our surprise, she had placed her beloved pair of black boots inside just as if they were a new pair! Maybe you had to be there, but Kelsi and I looked at each other in amazement. It was incredibly endearing. Jamie promptly took the boots, ran upstairs to the loft area and tossed them over the top of the caging so that Kelsi could put them on for a walk and off they went. No matter how long we work with the chimps, they continue to amaze us every day.



7 Responses to “Moments with Jamie”

  1. Cherie Erwin says:

    We’d do well to catch up with them!

  2. Kathleen says:

    Oh my goodness! Katelyn, thank you for sharing this story about Jamie. Clearly Kelsi is “IN” as far as The Boss is concerned. God I love Jamie. She knew the actual purpose of that box. She put the box to use for her favorite boots. Keeping the boots safe, she waited to share them with her friend Kelsi and she knew the best way to get the boots into Kelsi’s hands too. And to think many people believe chimpanzees cannot reason or envision the future. They need to meet Jamie. Or should I say they need to follow your Blog! Here we are all educated, amazed, and delighted everyday. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings……

  3. Jo says:

    Beautiful moments and so glad you shared!! They are so smart and loving and endearing! Hugs to you all XX

  4. Elaine Reininger says:

    What an amazing story. How she knew that’s where the boot belong. They are really so very very smart. Wonder if they would enjoy those new spinner gadgets that are so popular nowadays. I bet it wouldn’t take them long to figure out how to make them spin.

  5. Chris says:

    Somehow this does not suprise me…Jamie is smarter than alot of people I know! LOL! Just kidding..not! 🙂 I’m wondering if the chimps often or ever do things that they see the humans do? I was thinking this the other day when I saw Burrito with the scooter thing banging it around. Do you think he would actually use it as a scooter if he saw one of you demonstrate scooting around on it?
    I know Jamie would probably know how to use it without seeing anyone on it! 🙂

    • Katelyn says:

      Hi Chris – the chimps do engage in many of the same things we do, but it’s not always easy to say if it’s because of behavior they’ve seen in humans or something they would have done given the environment and enrichment they are provided with being in captivity. Even in the wild, chimps transfer behaviors they learn from one another as a form of cultural appropriation. But as these guys have spent their entire lives around humans, being the intelligent and curious beings they are, it’s likely that they occasionally decide to try out a behavioral practice seen through social learning if it sparks their interest. Jamie in particular often enjoys participating in human activities like cleaning, shoveling snow – she even used a tongue depressor to deposit feces into the head of a troll doll once when she observed staff collecting fecal samples. And given Jamie’s childhood in which she spent the first 9 years of her life living with a trainer and being used in entertainment, it makes further sense that she focuses on human behavior more than the others. We really love that the longer she is in sanctuary the more her “chimpanzee-ness” returns and she kind of morphs that into her own unique behaviors.

  6. Chris says:

    Oh my! I bet Foxie didn’t want that troll anymore! 🙂