CJ is going Swimming and Emma is Picking Flowers

Every Tuesday afternoon, I arrive at Chimps, Inc to volunteer my time to work in the kitchen & make exciting meal choices. I have been arriving like this for about 8 years. Yes, 8 yrs !! This past Tues, I brought a few items hoping they may provide some enrichment and/or fun for the chimpanzees. The first was a swimsuit that had worn out. CJ (Calamity Jane) actually expressed interest in the garment and it was passed to her via Kaleigh (caregiver). I watched with curiosity as she continually smelled every quadrant of the material. Was she smelling me (the suit was rinsed after last swim) or was it the lingering chlorine smell ?? I decided it was the chlorine that she had probably never smelled before. Maybe she is like me, and likes unusual scents ?? Next, Jackson was give a small, plush pillow that would play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” when a corner was pressed. He was examining this, when Emma was given a large pipe cleaner flower that she promptly smelled. Then Emma gently and slowly reached over to take the pillow away from Jackson. And he allowed her to take it. Score Emma.

Later in the afternoon, CJ had THE swimsuit around her neck as an obvious accessory. What else to do with an item you want to continue to smell? Patti was given a mask made of feathers similar to those that would be used in a Venetian Carnival experience. Patti was more interested in asking for food at first. Later we saw her with the mask over her head and the feathers wrapped up the left side of her neck. She absolutely looked like the Princess she is known to be. I always know that I am more enriched by serving them, than they could ever be by my gifts for them.

-Beverly, volunteer