Mint Chocolate Chimp

My friend Jenna has the most amazing summer job ever, working with chimps. Here's a piece from one of her emails.
Yesterday the painters were at the Institute to paint one of the chimp night cages, so they didn't get all the room they usually get. To make up for it, they got Dairy Queen for dinner. OOo they wen't CRAZY. They each got a burger, fries, soda, and ice cream. You should see them sign for ice cream. Its just kinda a mimic of eating ice cream, but they do it rapidly. Its great. And when they see us serving them, they want it faster, so they sign "hurry, hurry, gimme, hurry gimme hurry hurry." Meals with them are great.
Lately the chimps Loulis and Tatu have been grooming each other a lot. its ammmaaazing to watch. That IS how they bathe, so they do it with so much loving care. They sit around and just groom all parts of each other all day, and sometimes when they get bored they throw blankets over each others heads.
Washoe, the big dominant female of the 4 chimps here has the best sense of humor, and the loudest laugh. She likes to put things over her head and then run into others. She also has a crush on one of the guys who works here, so whenever he's doing something she interrupts him to get his attention. For instance, tonight while they were eating dinner he was washing the toys with a hose, and Washoe asked for a drink of water from the hose. what a girl.... Tomorrow, another day of researching chimpanzee sense of humor. I'll be watching hours of video tapes of chimps wrestling and playing around. What a job. jeeez.
Chimps going ape for Dairy Queen might be one of my all-time favorite mental images.

No comments: