Planning for the move is continuing at an increasingly frantic pace.
Plans for which groups will move house together and in what order are pretty much finalised in our minds. What the Chimps think about all this we will see later on!
There are so many parts to this move. We have to consider how we will encourage different individuals away from the group so we can give them an anaesthetic to move them to their new home safely. We have to think about what areas of their new home we will initially place them in to reverse the anaesthetic and then which of their chimp companions they will meet first at their new exhibit, reintroductions are always quite interesting. All in all it is a lot of work.
Our three older females, Lulu, Bessie and Spitter will be moved whilst they are fully awake in specially designed travelling crates. This week we started doing practice runs with the empty crates to make sure we could manoeuvre them easily out of the Chimp House. These practice runs are extremely valuable as we can now iron out any kinks in the system to ensure a smooth moving process for our elderly females.
The Chimps themselves remain blissfully unaware of what’s coming. They have enough to deal with considering the current political situation amongst our three males.
There is still a lot of tension between our males following some significant fighting a few weeks back. They are certainly wary in each others company.
Our current Alpha male, Labutu, still has the support of the female members of our community as evidenced by their enthusiastic greetings to him and numerous grooming sessions. The youngsters have picked up on all this tension and their squabbling has become more frequent and with higher intensity.
With so much happening in the Chimp society, the old girls may very well enjoy being the first ones to move house.