CHCI would like to thank Friends of Washoe member Suzanne Beeler, of Austin, Texas for sponsoring this year’s Valentine’s Day party for the chimpanzees, as a gift for her mother Pam Feikema. We would also like to thank the Kindergarten and 5th grade students at Lincoln Elementary school for help creating decorations and Alexis McClelland of the CWU Civic Engagement Center for coordinating their efforts.
Our second sponsored party this year was Valentine’s Day, known as RED DAY or RED LOVE DAY around these parts. Because Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday this year, and we only have a skeleton crew on the weekends, we celebrated on Thursday, February 12. Of course, the 12th itself was important day, as it was Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday!
Thanks to the generous donation from Suzanne Beeler, caregiver Shannon Wallin was able to run all over town, shopping for treats and decorations for the big day. She found Necco hearts, chocolate-covered marshmallow hearts, cherry Italian ice cups, and raisins, as well as Valentine-themed window clings, streamers, tablecloths, plastic bags, treat containers, and wrapping paper. We also got several new toys for the day, including a two-foot long red toothbrush, a large ant toy, a huge chalk compass, a baby doll, a red foam crown, and a scrubbing mitten. These toys might not scream Valentine’s to you, but it is always fun to get something new and unusual for the chimpanzees.
The Kindergarten and 5th grade students at Lincoln Elementary created some great decorations for the party. We had masks filling the windows in the East Room, and lined up brightly decorated (and googly-eyed) paper-cup shakers along the windowsill (see picture below).
All of the chimpanzees really enjoyed the celebration. Loulis explored the entire room before choosing what to eat first. The picture above shows Loulis looking under some decorations for some hidden treats. Dar enjoyed the frozen Pomegranate juice. However, it was very difficult to get to. The picture below shows the aftermath of Dar pouring some water into the bottle, which helped melt the frozen juice. Tatu collected as many treats as she could, mostly hidden in tires and boxes. Since the juice was frozen, she moved on to some Italian Ice and bags of candy (see bottom picture) coming back to the juice later on.