One of the most important things we offer to the chimpanzees here at the sanctuary is the freedom of choice. We provide the ingredients for a happy, healthy life, and the chimps take what they want and leave what they don’t.
Blankets are one of those ingredients. We put out so many blankets each day that there are plenty for everyone who wants them. Surprisingly, though, not everyone does.
Most of the chimps use the blankets we offer to build big, soft nests. The process of building the nest is just as important as the end result. They painstakingly wrap each blanket around their bodies or spread them out underneath them in just the right configuration. Sometimes they weave the blankets through or around other objects or structures.
This morning Jamie and Foxie were each “nesting” in their own way just a few feet from each other in the playroom, and the difference in their styles was apparent. They do have one thing in common: they like to have their favorite things nearby.
Foxie and a troll doll:
Jamie and a boot:
But that’s where the similarities end. Jamie likes to gather as many blankets as she can and twist and wrap them into a big, cushy circle.
Foxie, though, prefers the heated floor.
As much as it might make our own bones ache a little to see her lying on the bare floor, we appreciate that everyone has their own idea of comfort. Foxie makes her own choices, and we’ll always celebrate her in all her quirky glory.