Tuesday Morning with the Chimps

Tuesday Morning with the Chimps

I had a smile on my face all morning while volunteering at the sanctuary on Tuesday.

I gave everybody breakfast and a special treat: a cup of hot (decaf!) coffee.  Thiele hadn’t moved away from the feed door after she received her breakfast because she was too busy drinking her coffee, so I asked her if she would please go and sit  back for me so I could feed Patti.  Thiele looked at her cup and before she started to move, she very meticulously put the little plastic stopper back in the lid of the cup that she had removed earlier so it wouldn’t spill.  WOW, she is no dummy!  Later she wanted me to blow in her ears and tickle her feet, and of course she didn’t have to ask me twice. :)

As we were cleaning the Playroom, we found a poor little dead Swallow who had clearly found his way into the playroom but not his way out… :(  I guess Herbie had himself some great (live) enrichment to occupy his time with last night.  He had plucked all the feathers off the poor little thing and what was left, he had put in a  paper cup for us to find.  As sad as it was, it was a great reminder that chimps are accomplished hunters, just like humans.

When lunch time came around, I proceeded to hand out lunch bags to everybody.  Earlier in the day, we had left a lot of forage for the chimps in the outdoor enclosures and therefore had used some not too exciting produce (which needed to be eaten before it got too old) for their lunches.  As I handed out lunch, I put the carrier on the steps outside the Garden enclosure with the rest of the bags in it. Well, Herbie took one look at the contents of his lunch bag and then came over to the Garden enclosure where he stood on his toes to see if  there was something better in those bags than there was in his.  To his disappointment, there wasn’t, so he trudged back to get the one I had left for him a few minutes earlier.  What picky eaters these chimps are!

Maybe you would have had to be there to see all this, but trust me, it would have put smiles on your faces too!

– Karen Tepner, Volunteer