Fun with Jackson and Tic Tac Toe with CJ

Fun with Jackson and Tic Tac Toe with CJ

We were given some free time this afternoon to watch the chimps so I immediately headed to the chimp kitchen where there’s a large window looking into the Playhouse. Two of Chimps Inc.’s youngest residents, Jackson and CJ, were both lounging in hammocks but it didn’t take long for Jackson to come flying down onto the platform that sits below the window.

He starts knocking on the window to get my attention and from there we end up spending several minutes imitating one another. He shows me his nose and his teeth and I do the same; he even presses his lips against the glass so I can give him a kiss. At one point he grabs his ear and wiggles it and I copy him, but he shakes his head and does it  again which told me that that wasn’t what he wanted me to do. This time I press my ear against the glass and he stares at it and I can hear him pointing to the top part of it where my cartilage piercing is. Once he felt like he had looked at it long enough he knocks on the window again and points to his nose. I do the same but he then tilts his head up and proceeds to show me his nostrils. I remembered one of the volunteers telling me that Jackson likes to look up people’s noses. I comply with this weird request and he examines my nose for several moments before CJ swings over next to him to see what all the commotion is about it.

CJ joins in on all of our silliness but since I’m always looking for new ways to interact with the chimps I decided to grab a pack of neon  whiteboard markers to draw on the glass with. I wrote both their names and drew funny faces around them and both CJ and Jackson followed the pen wherever it moved.

Within a few minutes, however, they had lost interest so I tried to think of a different activity. What about tic-tac-toe? I started drawing the boxes and placed an “X” in the center square. CJ looked the most curious so I asked her which box she wanted me to put the “O” in. Sure enough, she tapped in one of the squares. Although she obviously didn’t understand the game or the rules, it was still great enrichment, and she never touched a square that already had a letter in it. I ended up winning the first round, but by the next one, she had already beaten me!

How many people can say that a chimp beat them in tic-tac-toe?!

Kyra, Intern

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