Grooming Pairs

Grooming Pairs

Here at the sanctuary there is always something to be done. When you take care of animals, especially animals as demanding as chimps, your work is never finished. That’s what makes those quiet moments all the more special. Yesterday after all the work was done, I was privileged to have a seat in the Chimp House, where everyone was taking refuge from the chilly wind. It was quiet, meals had already been eaten and everyone was digesting peacefully. I sat and observed two grooming pairs, Jackson grooming Topo, and Emma grooming Thiele. The kids sat next to their elder counterparts, grooming so intently they took no notice of my presence. They were just happy in those afternoon minutes to purely be chimps. It was as though they were in the wild, content to pour over their companion and forget about captivity just for a moment. It was a perfect thing to see. Suddenly the back-breaking work was pardoned, I was able to forget about my exhaustion and simply bask in the loveliness of the moment. Natural behavior witnessed between chimpanzees who grew up without the guidance of the jungle or other chimps is the best “thank you” an animal caregiver can ask for.

Kori, Intern