Making Friends

Making Friends

I have been at the sanctuary as an intern for two weeks now, and while I have loved just about every minute — from making fun enrichment such as blanket forts, to preparing the chimps’ daily meals while under their watchful eyes, and even to scrubbing poop — the highlight of my time settling into sanctuary life has definitely been starting to make friends with the chimpanzees.

Shortly after I started working here, I seemed to make quite an impression on dignified old Topo, and his eyes would follow me around as I cleaned and carried out my internly duties. At first he was interested in my black and silver snow boots, but then he decided that the rest of me was quite interesting as well! On one occasion, Topo was feeling reluctant to go outside and enjoy the sunshine, so the caregivers suggested that I come around to see him to see if that would entice him out- and it worked (I hasten to add that this scheme has not worked every time!). It is an honour and rather flattering to have such an amazing chimpanzee take a shine to me, and I will admit to having taken quite a shine to Topo in return!

It has also been a real treat to get to know handsome Herbie. He is a very generous chimp, and while he loves hats, he also loves sharing them around. This morning I graciously received what was my sixth hat thrown to me since I arrived here. I of course thanked Herbie enthusiastically in both spoken English and chimp pants and bobs.

I am so excited to spend many more weeks getting to know the special chimpanzees living here, and knowing that in some small way I am making their lives a bit better is a really wonderful feeling.

Amy, Intern