Friday, January 28, 2011

My Chimps

On my birthday, my family asked me what I would like to do.  I thought about it. Anything was in my power - restaurants, movies, trips to the beach, a dvd movie marathon at home, lazing around the pool...the list goes on.  I chose going to the zoo to see my two special friends:

Ocky showing his gentle nature
 Octavius (Ocky), and

Cassius (Cassie) 
Cassie showing off!

I have been going to see them since I moved to Rockhampton about 24 years ago.  They were much younger then, and a bit smaller, but still adult size.  (So was I!)  They have matured and grown into their bodies and personalities. (So have I!)

 Their caged environment is so large and friendly, and there are so many viewing platforms in which they can communicate and interact with the public should they choose to.  Their main 'keeper' is very knowledgable in how to handle and communicate with them. He has taught us how to greet the chimps with a guttural throat sound, and how when calm and peaceful nature is displayed they will react likewise.  I have always felt so close to these gentle souls, and, well....I just love them.
Ocky as seen through the glass viewing platform

So, I went to see them at 'feeding time' where they drink poppers through the popper straws, which they insert themselves, and eat special treats out of plastic bowls with a plastic spoons, and when finished, slide the bowls and empty poppers out of the enclosure to their friend and keeper, for him to dispose of.  Ocky and Cassie are extremely intelligent, and respond to quiet, gentle communication.  Sometimes I wish I could get closer to them, but we both respect our privacy.

The exciting news is that our zoo has been able to make exchanges, and Ocky and Cassie will soon have new friends imported into their environment.  Some females are coming in.  Wonder how the boys will react after all this time.  Will there be a sense of excitement - will they call 'dibs' on the best looking one!  Will they mate!  There is a lot of privacy for them - as there should be - but I am happy to see that my boys have grown up, and may soon be Papas! That would be nice.  They would be very gentle Dads!

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