I arrived at Save the Chimps after a legal tug-of-war between a now-shuttered breeding compound in Missouri and PETA. After being hidden in a basement cage, I was brought to Save the Chimps and released to an outdoor play yard. I didn’t hesitate to explore both my indoor bedroom and outdoor play yard, climbing through the tunnel between them as well as climbing to the top of the play yard for a view of my surroundings. It’s been some time since I’ve seen other chimpanzees, and I greeted my neighbors with curiosity. After a quarantine period that gave me time for health check-ups and allowed me to get used to my new home, I was introduced to two other newcomers, Jacob and Cayleb. The three of us are very close. We spend the majority of our days playing chase and grooming. I can choose whether to be inside or outside, and I’m making up for lost time by enjoying the summer breeze and soaking up the Florida sunshine on the upper levels of the play yard.
Eventually, my friends and I will be moved to join one of the large family groups at Save the Chimps. To make this move as safe as possible, they’ve started training me to go into a transfer box. Through positive reinforcement, I’ve become comfortable voluntarily going inside the transfer box and allowing them to close the door. This will make things less stressful for me when it’s time to move.
- Special Needs
Jacob and Tonka Playing Chase