Posts Tagged ‘chimpanzee’

Snake!!!

Friday, August 18th, 2017

The chimps follow one simple rule: ALL SNAKES, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, POSE AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT AND MUST BE REMOVED BY ANY AND ALL MEANS AVAILABLE. Sometimes this means enlisting the help of their caregivers.

(In case you are wondering, the sanctuary is surrounded by 1,500 feet of rattlesnake barrier, but smaller, less harmful snakes live within the chimps’ two-acre enclosure and occasionally get into the indoor enclosures).

In this video, you can see and hear Annie alarm calling, while she and Burrito stay safely out of harm’s way. Jody, Foxie, and Jamie mustered the courage to force the snake out from its hiding spot and hand it over to the proper authorities, who in this case was Co-Director Diana.

What’s in a Kiss?

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

You may have seen the video we posted the other day of Foxie giving kisses to some of the other chimpanzees to reassure them after a brief conflict broke out during her birthday party.

If you’re a chimp, a kiss can say a few different things: “Everything’s okay. Please calm down.” Or “I’m feeling a little nervous.” Or “Isn’t this exciting?!”

Today we set out a lunch forage on Young’s Hill. Jody and Missy both have the same foraging strategy. They make one big sweep of the area, gather as much food as they can carry, and then head back into the greenhouse to sit down and enjoy it. Missy was on her way to the greenhouse, trying not to spill any of her spoils, when Jody met up with her, also heading to the greenhouse. They stopped briefly for a kiss and breathy pant, which in this case was part: “This is great! I can’t wait to eat this food!” and part: “I have food. You have food. Everything’s okay.”

Thus reassured, they completed the trek to the greenhouse where they ate in peace.

Reflections of Annie

Monday, August 14th, 2017

We sometimes refer to some of the chimps as “human-oriented” and others as more of a “chimp’s chimp.” Individual histories and personalities have Jamie, Burrito and Foxie choosing to spend more time interacting with the humans than their other family members, Missy, Jody, Negra and Annie. While the latter folks are occasionally interested in engaging with the humans, it’s more their preference to spend time with their chimp family. And as much as we love interacting with the chimps when they choose to, their relationships with one another are the priority.

All of that said, over the years the “chimps’ chimps” have shown increasing interest in interacting with the humans. Negra could watch us dance for ages, Missy now leaps on the caging in excitement before running off for a game of chase with her caregivers and enjoys long grooming sessions with us, Jody spends more time greeting us throughout the day, and Annie, well, Annie’s continuing to bloom and grow in pretty much all areas of her life as you may have read before.

I’ve often felt that Annie shares many similar interests with Jamie. She’s curious, intelligent and creative and loves to check out new projects and enrichment. Where in the past she was often hesitant to do so could have been because of her less dominant position and Jamie typically taking things over, and maybe it’s just that now that she is feeling more comfortable in her own skin, safe and secure, she finally has the space to follow her interests and express herself, no longer having to look at the world around her through the filter of anxiety and fear. Whatever the reason, she is a pure joy.

Today I decided to see if she was interested in taking some “selfies” and checking herself out on the iPhone with the camera screen turned toward her. As we all are with dear Annie, she appeared quite mesmerized with her reflection:

a special gift for Jamie

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Jamie’s birthday isn’t until October 31st, but her friend Vicki sent her a very special gift recently.

Ask Jamie

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Our resident expert shares her thoughts on keeping primates as pets:

Happy Birthday, Foxie!!

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Woohoo!! It’s Foxie’s birthday and a very special day of sanctuary was sponsored in her honor by her (and our) wonderful friend, Tracy Headley! Foxie is 41 and full of sass and spitfire this morning! I think it’s more like 41 going on 14. She started her birthday morning off with a wild game of chase with Annie and Missy, swinging on a firehose while play-kicking at her friends and laughing, and then hanging upside down from the greenhouse ceiling while kicking her feet every which way possible.

Birthday packages arrived this morning, an exciting brunch forage is being prepped, and all the trolls and Dora dolls are lining up for the celebration!

Tracy, thank you so much for helping us make this an extra special day for Foxie! We are so lucky to have you as part of our chimp family. Foxie is such a special soul bringing joy, comfort, love and shenanigans to the lives of us all.

Foxie, if there were a picture of my heart I am pretty sure it would look like you. We all could not possibly love you more. We hope this day full of excitement, smoothies, fruit, crazy chimp shenanigans, more trolls and Doras than you could possibly carry, hug, bite and do pirouettes on, friends, family and love, so much love, is the best birthday yet. Until the next and the next and the next…

Happy Birthday, Foxie!!

Moments of comfort

Monday, August 7th, 2017

After experiencing over 30 years of deprivation, it never ceases to amaze me (or make my heart burst) to see the chimpanzees so fully embrace a life of comfort in their own unique ways. It physically hurts my heart to think of all they went without for so long and makes each moment of joy and comfort for them all the more meaningful.

The chimps recently received some new SUPER fluffy fleece blankets and they adore them. They look as though they are floating on clouds sitting in their nests, the blankets sometimes as high as their chests. We found two super voluptuous nests this morning while cleaning the playroom. Despite Jamie’s aversion to snakes, she really loves to incorporate the stuffed toy snakes into her nests:

Jamie (we assume) decided to use a chopstick to remove a washer from somewhere yet to be discovered. She is far too smart for our own good:

This beauty was spread out over the catwalk:

Beautiful Annie lounging:

Jody in particular loved the new blankets (naturally) and frequently rubbed her head and face against them:

Jody’s sweet feet in a cloud of fluff as she napped this morning:

Seeing the chimps surrounding themselves in comfort will never grow old.