Think Fast!

October 8th, 2017 by Kelsi

I thought I would share what to me is a funny story. The chimps were MIA today (not literally). I took it as they really just didn’t want their photos taken today. So much so that when I was walking around the chimp house trying to get photos for a blog Jamie played a prank on me. I was by the playroom and I had finally found a chimp (Annie) sitting still long enough to get a photo… When all of a sudden everything goes black! A blanket had been thrown on top of my head. I backed away and pulled the blanket off my head, and I looked up to find Jamie staring at me. I took a hint and got lost for a while. Later, I heard Jamie coughing and offered her a paper towel which pleased her. She even took the paper towel with her on our walk!

Jamie holding her towel on Young’s Hill:

I did manage to snap these photos…

Jody relaxing in the greenhouse:

Missy grooming Burrito:

13 Responses to “Think Fast!”

  1. Jo says:

    What beautiful, funny chimp people they are!! Thanks for the wonderful story and photos!! Appreciate you guys sooooooooooooooooo much XO to all!

  2. Carla René says:

    Ha! So Jamie’s mum taught her how to cover her mouth when she coughs/sneezes, too? 😉

    Did she actually throw the blanket OVER their caging? That part doesn’t quite make sense to me. I can’t visualise what happened, because I thought their caging went all the way up to the top.


    • Elaine Reininger says:

      yes, that confused me too…about how the blanket could have been thrown on the head

    • Kelsi says:

      At the top of the playroom caging which does go all the way to the top, there is a small gap where the a blanket or a troll doll could fit through. Often this is where Foxie loves to throw us a troll doll or as for Jamie the occasional blanket. 🙂

      • Carla René says:

        Ah! That makes more sense, and now that you memtion it, I think I remember seeing a video of Jamie and Diana tossing something over that part of the caging once.


  3. Kathleen says:

    Who needs words when a blanket on the head will do, right?! I guess I need to appreciate all of these wonderful photos all the more knowing how difficult it is to capture a willing, photogenic subject. Thanks for your efforts today Kelsi, greatly appreciated by me if not by Jamie. 😉

  4. Kathy B says:

    Have any of the chimps dropped blankets on anyone else’s head before ? Or were you the lucky first one ?

    • Kelsi says:

      I am not sure if I am alone in this club or not. But, often we have troll dolls from Foxie or other object squeezed through the small gap at the very top of the caging. Occasionally if Jamie can make a boot fit through it she will toss it our way and make us wear it for her!

  5. Tobin says:

    Ah, so that’s what celebrities like Jamie do to get the paparazzi to bug off…

  6. Paula says:

    I have a question, how did it come about that Jamie takes walks around the parameter with the caretakers? Maybe you could do a blog entry on how it came to be, and how often she does it. How did she indicate that she wanted company during her patrol? Is it every day that she wants company, or on occasion? Thanks guys! And chimp hugs and kisses.

    • Carla René says:

      I’m not with the sanctuary so hope you don’t mind my jumping in here, but have followed the blog for a long time, and know that Jamie’s perimetre walks have been probably the most written-about subject on this blog.

      I was able to find a few great posts from the archive. And because it’s been so blogged about, naturally I couldn’t find all of it, but to my recollection, after bringing the chimps home from the lab, Jamie’s dominant behaviour began to emerge pretty soon thereafter. Then once Young’s Hill was finished, she began walking the perimetre as sort of her routine (see the first posting, called “Routine”), and does it twice a day and even sometimes more. Then she began asking the adults to come along by gesturing them to come with, and somewhere in there, she began the boot fettish thing and it all became entwined.

      That’s all just from memory, but I know the sanctuary will be able to give you a more detailed timeline and emergent behaviour.

      So, in answer to your question, it sort of emerged in steps (again, as far as I can remember reading). But she’s always done it as part of her dominant behaviour and in being the alpha chimpanzee of the group, so it’s always been part of her way of taking care of everyone.