Photo: Project Chimps

#ChimpChat: Janie and Sopulu

Hooray for another #ChimpChat Wednesday! Today, Caregiver Janie introduces her new friend, Sopulu. “The first night Sopulu arrived at Project Chimps he displayed the persona of a little spitfire,” Janie explained. “He’s a pint-sized male, but incredibly stocky. Don’t let his tiny stature fool you. He’s definitely figured out how to use his little form to his advantage by quickly bouncing around the room.” When Sopulu first arrived, he was high energy but still quite reserved as he became accustomed to his new environment. “Slowly though, day by day he interacted with me more and more,” Janie said. “Luckily now I can call him my friend and we really enjoy each other’s company.” Since the group of seven males moved into their home at Project Chimps, Sopulu and Janie have been learning more about each other and forming a close bond. “I remember the first time we played tag and chase. Both of us were so excited it was happening that we couldn’t figure out which direction we wanted to run. We laughed and ran back and forth, with breaks of squatting, talking, and tickling in between.” Janie made a conscious decision to feature the more reserved Sopulu for this week’s #ChimpChat. “The other males like Marlon and Quintin love human attention, but Sopulu tends to be reserved and wait in the background. He waits for his chance to get your attention, and then gives you all of himself,” Janie explained. When he’s not interacting with his caregivers, Sopulu really enjoys watching movies. While running errands or stepping away from the villa, caregivers like to put on a movie or TV show for the chimps as a form of enrichment. “Sopulu loves watching movies,” Janie said. “Whenever a new human shows up on screen he intently stares at them and animatedly wiggles his body back and forth.” In terms of food, Sopulu loves just about everything except green onions. “When I try to feed him green onions, he will politely take them from me, but will gently set them down. I always make sure I have something else for him to choose from.” Janie describes Sopulu as a solid, strapping, and stout young male. “I think the public and any visitors should know that at first glance Sopulu looks like a serious and intense guy, but in fact he’s quite the opposite. Don’t let his fierce brow and appearance fool you. Underneath his macho demeanor is a silly and caring individual.” Janie has really enjoyed working with the group of males since they first arrived on site. “I am so ecstatic to discover new things with the chimpanzees. It’s a great adventure we can all share together. We’re excited for all of the surprises our new chimp friends have in store for us.”

We’d like to thank all of you who continue to support us – human and chimp alike – on this incredible journey. We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for everyone at Project Chimps!