Shoe Fever


Aug
Shoe Fever

Because they were raised around humans, many of the chimps here at Chimps Inc enjoy very humanized enrichment, such as clothes, brushes, and tools. All of the chimps here seem to have a special affinity for shoes. Luckily there are plenty of shoes in the enrichment room to keep the chimps entertained; everything from heels to scuba fins. We’ve seen Jackson in slippers and Air Jordans and try desperately to fit into pumps before giving up and destroying them instead. We’ve seen CJ strut her stuff in leather heels. Recent Intern Kaydee ended up giving her sneakers to Topo as a gift when she left because he had such an affinity towards them. He carried them around and seemed to truly treasure them. When a volunteer, caregiver, or intern shows up with a new pair of shoes, the chimps take notice and immediately ask to see them more closely. When some visitors show up, they may even be accepted immediately because of their particularly attractive kicks! Because the chimps make such a big deal about shoes that they like, those who work with them, consider it and get just as excited about showing them off.  I’ve heard one caregiver say “I found these shoes on sale and thought the chimps would really like them” when speaking about colorful new work sneakers. This past week I bought some new neon running shoes and when I wore them to work the chimps took notice right away. I was greeted by Herbie knocking on the window as I walked up, then he immediately sat down right in front of me and pointed at my shoes desperately asking to see them closer. When Jackson joined in, I did a little dance for him and he began to laugh, big ears flopping as he shook his head. I don’t know if apes at other sanctuaries have this same obsession with shoes but I do know that I will be planning my outfit thoroughly before visiting.

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Kaleigh, volunteer