Archive for the ‘Enrichment’ Category

Saturday Lounging

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Today was the kind of day to kick your feet up…



take in the wonder of your surroundings…



share a moment with a friend in the sun…

Missy & Annie grooming:


enjoy what nature has to offer…

Burrito eating snow:


settle in with a good book…

Jamie and a new boot book:


and take some trolls for a walk.

Foxie with a troll scarf:



Happy Saturday from the chimpanzees!



New Enrichment

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

We’re always on the hunt for new enrichment ideas. Here are a couple simple ones that we’ve recently introduced. Both are Jamie-approved!

Foxie the destroyer

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Foxie often plays pretty rough with her dolls, quite different than she would probably treat a real infant. She will throw them, smack them and bite them one minute, and be hugging and grooming them the next. We may never know why Foxie likes certain dolls so much, but we do know that she doesn’t seem to feel any of that same affection for stuffed primate dolls.

Do What You Love

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

Snow was a hot commodity today! Jody was really the only one that went out on Young’s Hill and braved the snow (I know, we were surprised too!), everyone else preferred the snow to be served in the warm and comfortable playroom. Jamie tried to go out on the Hill for a walk, but it was pretty cold out so she turned around. Everyone wanted to play and sometimes they all wanted to play separate games at the same time! There were only two of us and seven of them… Foxie was dropping her dolls down, Missy was running around asking to play chase and wanted us to open the barn doors of course, Burrito was rasberry-ing to play, and Jamie wanted to play chase inside (Jamie would sometimes get Missy or Foxie in on some of the games too). Jamie didn’t want to go out on the Hill so she told staff caregiver Katelyn to put a boot on and play chase with her! Jamie made Katelyn and I play a lot of chase, from the playroom to the greenhouse, back to the playroom, and again and again. Jamie would make these low playful grunting sounds that could just melt your heart. Afterward she would ask for her boots back and hug them tight. I even caught her in a corner of the playroom playing with a stuffed Olaf toy. If you can’t do what you love when the weather is bad why not find something else to substitute!


Jody out venturing the Hill for snow:



The 2018 Winter Chimp-O-Lympics

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Anna organized an Olympics-themed party for the chimps this morning. Negra wasn’t sure what to think at first, but once she saw the fancy drinks in coconut-rimmed glasses, she got on board.

We didn’t have quite as much snow as they have in Pyeongchang, but we managed to scrape together enough to fill a sled before it all melted.

Bonus moments of love!

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Please enjoy these extra photos from yesterday’s Valentine’s celebration!





Valentine’s Party 2018

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Grab your loved ones and snuggle up to watch the chimpanzees enjoy their Valentine’s Day party. Thanks to all the volunteers, supporters, and staff who helped fill the day with L❤️VE!

Morning solitude

Monday, February 12th, 2018

We continue to experience what feels like spring, just a much a colder version. There are moments when, much to my delight, I think it’s autumn. Despite this morning being in the low twenties, the hillsides are greening up, vines are sprouting, garden plans are swimming in our heads, and the trills of the red-winged black birds have been dipping and swirling across the pond and into the fields as they reclaim their place in this corner of the world. And it’s all happening at least a couple months early. But neither chimpanzees nor humans are complaining.

When I opened the hill up this morning the chimps marched out with purpose, each seemingly with the intent to find their own spot of sun and solitude.

Annie was the first one out:

Foxie, her Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Jody and Burrito headed up the hill together:

Foxie peeled off from the group with her dolls to head in another direction:

Missy took her chow from breakfast and raced past everyone to enjoy some privacy on a structure. But it wasn’t long before Foxie decided to join her (though I think she invited herself):

You can spot one of Foxie’s dolls on the post above her. Foxie often likes to put her dolls in precarious positions and then rescue them:

Foxie eventually decided to climb higher and join Missy:

Missy didn’t seem ready to give up her solitude as she quickly relocated:

Jamie was busy inside preparing for a walk around the hill, but to my surprise even Negra ventured out with her pine tree snack to enjoy the sun for a few moments. I love that the chimpanzees can each find solitude within whole, a space to be with one another, but apart, knowing they have each other to return to as soon as they’re ready.

Quiet Moments

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Another beautiful February day is in the books and the chimps couldn’t be happier! Jamie and I spent quite some time with each other today. While our amazing volunteers cleaned, Jamie and I went for a nice slow and mellow walk. The sun was shining down, the view was amazing, and you couldn’t ask for better company. All the chimps were out ripping around Young’s Hill, meanwhile Jamie and I just sauntered around. Jamie looked so relaxed and at peace (if Jamie is relaxed I know I have done my job that day). Afterward, we went in and groomed her boot, she relaxed some more and I began to knuckle rub her arm and groom her with a brush. These are the nice little moments I will cherish forever.




Foxie carrying her doll:



Thursday, February 8th, 2018

A year ago yesterday we posted this video of Jamie exploring a sandbox. Jamie takes her job as boss very seriously, and she doesn’t often sit back and kick her feet up, so to speak. But something about sifting through the sand seemed to captivate and relax her. And watching this video captivates and relaxes us.

And here’s a bonus portrait of the Zen master herself.