Posts Tagged ‘Missy’

Blowing off steam

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Mornings in the chimp house have been, well, shall we say a little intense the past few days. With what seems to be an early winter, changing routines and closer quarters at mealtimes, we usually experience a little adjustment period with the changing seasons. Breakfast is often pre-empted with the normal raucous and rowdy displays and cage rattling from Burrito (with some extra flare this time of year) which leads to the usual arguments and scuffles with the girls flying after him screaming at the tops of their lungs. Then with tensions high and breakfast being served in the warmer (but smaller) front rooms, it’s been every caregiver for themselves during breakfast service which has frequently involved dodging (if you’re lucky) flying feces from the boss lady. Most of this is normal chimpanzee behavior and all of it is understandable. We all have to blow off steam sometimes.

The chimps also sometimes choose to exert some sense of control over their changing routine or avoid tension in the group by choosing to stay in areas when we are attempting to shift them to others so we can clean. This is Missy’s favorite time to stay back on her own in the playroom and hoot and holler from the loft to her hearts content. Jody also loves to bring her snack into the front rooms when she sees me attempting to close the doors. I leave the area at which point she leaves the front rooms, but the second she sees me looking that way she runs back in. But as we’ve said many times, part of the importance and beauty of sanctuary is the chimpanzees having the choice to call the shots and make their own choices as much as possible. And we’re only too happy to follow their lead.

So after the breakfast kerfuffle, When this morning dawned warmer and somewhat sunny, we couldn’t have been more thrilled for the chimps to have the chance to spend much of the day outside zooming about, racing and running with each other and their caregivers, and just getting some space from one another, taking in the sights and getting some fresh air.

And while Negra still chose to stay inside in her cozy nest, she was entertained by no less than four caregivers dancing like maniacs as she nodded along with approval. It’s been a good day.

Burrito, Annie and Foxie (below):

Burrito and Annie:

Annie checking out the comings and goings of the sanctuary:

Missy:

Jody started to head back to the greenhouse with a favorite pine tree treat, but stopped short of going inside to check on all her friends. Jody spotted Foxie hanging out by herself and decided she needed to go collect her:

Jamie was thrilled to be out and about and has Kelsi running (literally) around the hill all the live long day:

Lazy play for a lazy day

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Missy and Negra didn’t feel the need to release much energy in this morning’s play bout. Notice how it devolves slowly into a grooming session. Negra approves of all interactions where she gets to stay in bed!

Crisp days and spooky nights

Monday, October 16th, 2017

We’ve already seen some snow in the surrounding mountains and apparently have a long stretch of rain on the way, but for now the days have been dawning with beautiful blue skies and crisp, frosty mornings. Despite being able to see our breath in the morning air, the chimps have been loving being on Young’s Hill and waiting to warm up in the bright sun:

Peas-in-a-pod, Annie and Missy, climbed up together to enjoy the view in the cold autumn air:

Jody sat for ages in the morning sun then ventured up the hill for a snack to bring back to the top of the greenhouse where she could warm up:

And much to my surprise, when Jamie and I were returning from a walk around the hill, I spotted Negra of all people enjoying the sun and the view despite the cold temperatures:

I think Foxie was just as surprised to spot Negra out on such a brisk morning and decided she and her current favorite doll would check in on Negra:

Double-decker chimps:

In other news, Jamie has been doing something new this year! As a little background, if you’ve been a follower of the blog for very long you are probably aware that Jamie often enjoys late evening strolls with her caregivers. After dinner, after the other chimps have gone to bed, and past the time that her caregivers are supposed to go home for the day. We can’t blame her, evenings at the sanctuary are lovely, peaceful times and during summer a welcome relief from the heat of the day. We’ve adjusted our schedule so that we all rotate to cover PM on call in the evenings and two of us can be with her in the event that she (or anyone else) chooses to stay out past the end of our shift. This is one of many beauties of sanctuary; the chimps get to choose when they want to come in for the night. And it’s really a heartfelt joy and honor to be able to provide such a home for them.

Up until this year, we knew that even if Jamie wanted to stay out late, once it got dark she was ready to come inside. Well, that’s no longer the case! Back in August, and again last night, Jamie decided to brave walking around the hill with us in the pitch dark! The first time Jamie did this she was clearly nervous, but clearly wanted to go so Kelsi and I grabbed the spotlight and scanned the hill for her so she could see everything and know she was safe. It took her awhile to build up her courage, but once she made up her mind we were off! Kelsi held a light for us to see where we were going while I held the spotlight just ahead of Jamie to light her path. At every corner of the perimeter we’d stop and I’d light up the entire path ahead of her to remind her she was safe and then we’d venture on.

It’s phenomenal to me when I think how much courage this took for her to do. Not only is it entirely unnatural for a chimp to be on the ground outside in the dark (let alone one who spent three decades in a small cage in biomedical research), but she had to trust us enough to hold the light for her all the way around and not leave her. But once we made our way safely around she was thrilled, ready to go again! We walked around and around that night, carving a path with the light until 10:30!

So last night Jamie decided she was ready for another brave adventure. In the spirit of spooky, magical autumn nights and the month of Jamie-ween (we celebrate Jamie’s birthday on Halloween) here is Jamie in the pitch dark of the green house last night gesturing for Kelsi and I to put on the cowboy boots and get ready to run around the hill again. To say she was thrilled with the evening is an understatement. You can see the light from the chimp house through the doorway behind her where everyone else was cozy and asleep in their night nests. And what better way to celebrate Jamie’s birthday month and get into the spirit of Jamie-ween than a photo a little reminiscent of the “Blair Chimp Project”:

Forage While We Can

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

What a great day to be at the sanctuary! The morning started chilly and we thought the chimps couldn’t possibly want a forage on the Hill. But, to our delight it was the perfect day to be outside and especially to have a forage on the Hill. It is important to spend time outside while we can before the dreaded winter comes. The chimps spent a great deal of their day in the Green House and out on Young’s Hill. We also had some visitors for our lunch forage that Jamie was very curious about. She even had the group walk the perimeter with her.

Negra nestled in the comfy nest soaking up the morning sun:

Jody also relaxing in a soft warm bed soaking up some vitamin D:

Missy sitting on the window ledge in the Green House:

Annie being very photogenic as per usual:

Negra enjoying the forage and observing guests:

Annie foraging:

Jody with a handful of food and trying if there is any more left:

Jamie sitting on the fire hose and eating kale:

Jamie also wanted to show off a bit for the group:

And man does she have balance:

After Jamie made the group go on a walk with her:

 

Today is in honor of Carolyn!

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by “The parents of Jake, aka wheelbarrow boy,” for Carolyn Ouellette: “A Real Animal Lover, A Great Role Model & A Stellar Friend!”

To the parents of Jake, thank you so much for thinking of the chimps in honoring Carolyn and making a difference in the days of them all!

Carolyn, I can’t imagine this won’t bring a smile to your face this morning. We hope you enjoy your day and thank you for being such a bright light in the world and sharing that with the chimpanzees.

Annie, face raised to the sun:

Burrito:

Jody and Missy:

Jody:

The Deputy

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

As many of you know, Jamie considers herself the boss of all the primates that surround her. She rules with an iron fist, not always clear about what she wants, but definitely firm that she NEEDS it NOW. Missy in a one-on-one interaction with a caregiver can range from playful to aloof, all while being relatively casual, relaxed and easygoing. However, put her in close proximity to an annoyed group mate, she becomes an entirely different chimpanzee. Most of the chimps will threat bark or bang at caregivers when they don’t like something they are doing. This is exactly how you might think, a simple way of saying “what do you think you’re doing?” Sometimes this behavior requires that the caregiver make simple adjustments like serving a food item slower (Negra doesn’t like fast movement) or serving faster (Jamie needs a second serving right NOW). These reminders are often followed with a much more intense threat from Missy. Missy is infamous for sharply casting retribution down onto caregivers who have somehow (no matter how innocently) wronged her friends. Her threat bark is more of a “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?! WHO GAVE YOU CLEARANCE TO DO THAT?! YOU BETTER KNOCK IT OFF RIGHT NOW!!” If you’ve ever seen Missy full-on threaten a caregiver, you’ll know exactly why we don’t go into the enclosures with the chimpanzees.

Missy looked a bit like a body guard today as Jamie relaxed in her tunnel hideout:

Let the Festivities Begin!

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Today was a perfect fall day at the sanctuary. It was chilly, but still warm enough, the leaves have started to change, and the air smells crisp outside. Fall is a favorite for us here at CSNW, especially because Jamie-ween is just around the corner. So let the count down begin! Today, to celebrate the first day of October the chimps enjoyed a pumpkin seed and dried apple forage with some nice warm tea. Later for dinner there was a special homemade treat, applesauce (or better known as mashed up apples). Our day was spent walking around Young’s Hill, grooming, napping, and savoring the last bit of the garden.

Sunflowers from our garden:

Negra napping outside in the Green House:

Jamie:

Jody peering out into the garden:

Little bit later Missy and Jamie enjoyed some kale:

And handsome Burrito:

 

 

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Late September

Friday, September 29th, 2017

There’s nothing quite like a Fall forage on Young’s Hill!

Annie:

After eating his forage bounty, Burrito quietly went back out on Young’s Hill to watch the girls finish up.

Foxie:

Jamie scanning the grass for more food.

Jody was serious about carrots and kale!

Missy kept herself busy!

Negra actually stayed out for quite some time in the cool Fall breeze. Only after we felt a couple raindrops, did she hustle back inside.

Grooming with Missy

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Missy is a “chimp’s chimp.” That means she likes to spend most of her time with her fellow chimpanzees rather than engage in a lot of human interaction. This is actually a great thing, and we encourage the chimps to spend more time with their group mates, rather than always looking for human attention. Ideally, we want them to form strong bonds and rely on each other for their primary social connections. For Missy, caregivers do come in handy occasionally for some grooming time (when all other primate partners are napping). Missy likes to grab a little piece of stick to groom herself with, while also receiving additional back grooming via caregiver. Of course, it’s also special to us humans when we get to spend a little quality time with Missy. She has a very busy schedule after all.

Play-by-play

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Every good game begins with a standoff..

Annie

vs.

Missy

Then someone starts running…

The chase is on! Missy runs after Annie!

Don’t forget the aerial acrobatics!

Check out Missy’s play face!

A little bit of hand holding during intermission…

And then chase again! This time Missy leads the way!