As I opened the fridge this morning, Tatu was watching me, looking to see what I would grab. I pulled out a bottle of pomegranate blueberry juice, to which she started breathy panting. When I brought the juice out to serve, she was waiting there with a cup. Sometimes the chimpanzees like to be served to their lips, sometimes they prefer to drink from a straw, and occasionally they like to bring their own cup so they can enjoy it at their own pace. Loulis, however, seemed perfectly content with sipping from the straw.

Tatu could hardly contain herself over this juice, so the pictures are a bit blurry.  She was moving so fast! Toward the end of the cup, I said I’d be right back. I went back to the fridge, and added a little seltzer water to what remained of the pomegranate juice. When I returned Tatu was absolutely ecstatic.

You see, seltzer water is bubbly and therefore just like SODA-POP! I was serving Loulis who was taking his time with the water. Tatu seemed to be getting impatient so I verbally said (since my hands were full) “Tatu, it’s only water!” To which she signed WATER POP! And then emphatically, POP, POP, POP.

SODA-POP is a two part sign, and she was only signing the second half. So I set the cup down and asked her, SIGN SODA-POP. She signed SODA-POP GOOD HURRY! So I poured her the rest of the seltzer water. She walked off to sit and enjoy her water pop and seemed pretty content.

Now I know, seltzer water with a tiny bit of pomegranate juice is a very popular drink!

Loulis drink from a straw while Tatu excitedly waits with her cup

Loulis drinks from a straw while Tatu excitedly waits with her cup

Me pouring Tatu her drink

Me pouring Tatu her drink

Tatu drinking from her cup while Loulis enjoys another round

Tatu drinking from her cup while Loulis enjoys another round

Tatu signing WATER

Tatu signing WATER


About Debbie Metzler

Debbie began working with chimpanzees in 2005 while she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Central Washington University. She continued on to earn a master's degree in primate behavior, and after graduation joined the adjunct faculty in the primate behavior department. Debbie is an experienced coordinator for education, outreach, and advocacy programs. Currently she is working toward putting an end to the exploitation of non-human apes everywhere.
This entry was posted in CHCI Experiences, Enrichment, Interns, Loulis, Sanctuary, Tatu. Bookmark the permalink.

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