Posted in 01/04/2020
By Diana – Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest
If you are new to the blog, here are two things to know about the boss female chimpanzee Jamie: she loves boots, and she is constantly ordering the humans around.
You can see the force of her personality in these photos:
She’s also very particular about the things that she wants, and sometimes it takes the humans a while to understand what she’s asking for in a given moment.
Usually, when Jamie wants us to put on boots and walk around the outside of the outdoor habitat “with” her, she wants us to change into her favorite pair of boots du jour. We turn to the drying boots from the previous days enrichment or to her own personal boot and book closet to find the pair that she’s been most interested in lately.
Over the past twelve years, caregivers have worn various boot brands and styles. Right now, however, many of us are wearing XtraTuf boots. Kelsi, Anna, and Katelyn have a pair, as do I now. Chad and J.B. were the latest caregivers to upgrade to XtraTufs. Anthony still hasn’t succumbed to conformity. We have not received any funds from XtraTuf for this endorsement, but maybe they should send Anthony a pair so he will find out what he’s missing
We female caregivers have the “Salmon Sisters” style that can be worn fully up or folded down to different lengths, revealing the unique fabric on the inside.
As with most fashion, there tends to be more variety for women’s styles, and Chad and J.B.’s boots are of the kind that don’t fold down to reveal fun patterns – they just wear them up.
A few days ago, Jamie got my attention and was gesturing for something. I assumed she wanted to go on a walk, so I pulled out all of the boots that I knew were favorites of hers, but she just continued to gesture empathically. After several minutes, I finally figured out that she wanted me to change into my cleaning boots, which I did, and we proceeded on our walk.
Today it was a similar routine, but both Kelsi and I were already wearing our cleaning boots, so we couldn’t immediately figure out what Jamie wanted.
Later in the afternoon Kelsi had a moment of insight and tried unrolling her boots to their full length.
That was it!
Jamie was off in a flash, with Kelsi happily catching up to her.
I wish I knew more about what goes on in Jamie’s head, but it’s always rewarding to figure out what she wants, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense to us.