Building Trust

November 30th, 2017 by Elizabeth

Out of all the humans who work and volunteer at the sanctuary, only a handful have any sort of physical contact with the chimpanzees. Those who do must go through months of safety training first. Chimpanzees are incredibly strong and unpredictable, so we take these safety rules very seriously. Even the chimps’ wonderful local vet, Dr. Erin Zamzow, never touches the chimps unless they are sedated for a medical procedure. (Did I mention that we take our safety rules seriously?)

Dr. Erin has been assisting the sanctuary for years, and has been an integral part of several procedures, but still the chimps primarily know her as the doctor who comes around when something scary happens. So in an effort to demystify her a little, she’s been spending more time at the sanctuary – we want her to be a familiar, non-threatening presence in the chimps’ lives. She is currently going through caregiver training; when she’s done, she’ll be able to serve meals to the chimps, play chase and tug of war, groom, and give back rubs. She’ll be a trusted friend.

7 Responses to “Building Trust”

  1. Amy M says:

    I’m glad she’s also doing Jamie’s boot camp (figuratively if not literally). 🙂

  2. Kathleen says:

    I hope you have a pair of cowboy boots in her size.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Today Jamie made her walk around the hill in a pair of wet ankle boots with a broken heel. 😉

      • Kathleen says:

        Something tells me this might be a payback from a past “house call”! Oh Jamie, you are wise beyond your years. Please tell Dr. Erin that I think she is The Bomb for not only caring for our seven friends but for having pure compassion, understanding, and love for each of them. Ripple effect…..

  3. Francoise Vulpe says:

    It will be good for the doc to be around more. The chimps, or some of them, have treated themselves when they’ve had cuts, right? Putting antiseptic or such on it? Or maybe I’m not remembering this correctly.

    • Elizabeth says:

      The chimps will often (when they’re feeling cooperative) present certain body parts to us so that we can treat wounds with antiseptic spray. 🙂

  4. Arlene and Michael says:

    What a great way for the chimps to become more comfortable with the doctor. Thank you Dr. Erin:)