Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Diverting Back to Bruno and Eloise
As with all my blogging, please note that what I have written below comes from my observations and public articles I've read or viewed, and not from the LA Zoo itself. My blogs are not affiliated with the Los Angeles Zoo. I am not an expert, only a quiet observer, and reader on great apes. LA Zoo is near my residence and has been a convenient and wonderful place for me to observe these wonderful creatures. I began observing them when I started walking at the LA Zoo for my health. (The zoo's beauty and life kept me motivated to keep walking.) The great apes grabbed my attention, and so I began researching outside articles and videos as I continued to observe these incredible animals. Thus, my blogs.
Since I'm struggling getting a good picture of Nan, the next chimp I'll blog about, and since, Bruno and Eloise really made an impression on me yesterday, I just have to blog about them today....
As I watched the two of them at the observation window yesterday, a couple with their two beautiful Newfoundland service dogs came to watch them as well. Bruno was sitting near a family when the couple with their dogs arrived. Knowing that other animals don't always enjoy the company of dogs, the couple cautiously approached. When the man felt it was safe, he slowly approached the window with the male dog. Immediately, an intrigued Bruno moved toward the dog ... in a friendly manner ... with his hands and face against the window. The dog was a little nervous, but calmed down quickly and relaxed easily beside Bruno. Bruno sat there as if making a new friend, and pressed his lips to the window several times. Then, after some time, the owner gave the male dog to his lady partner, and brought the female dog carefully to the window. The female was a bit more nervous, and whimpered a bit. At her whimpering, Bruno gently punched (yes ... gently) the window and looked at her as if to say, "See, it's ok ... I can't hurt you." I realize the words gently and punched don't normally belong together, but it is the best way I can think to describe his sweet action. For, he was calm and seemingly loving about it. The female dog calmed down almost right away. Then, the two of them sat together for awhile.
As the shade left, and the sun beat down upon Bruno, he finally retreated back to the shade where Eloise was sitting at the other end of the exhibit. Eloise, then, rolled quickly to see the dogs at the window. (Remember, Eloise has Cerebral Palsy, Mental Disabilities, and arthritis.) But, as any female orangutan, she was much more cautious. She sat at a distance, watched, and made many noises at them. She "zerbitsed," spit, gurgled, and groaned ... but the dogs just laid there. After awhile, she came closer and did the same. She was quite funny to watch, but acting as a wild female orangutan would ... cautiously! Then, one of the dogs moved closer. She, even with her disabilities, moved quickly away, but stopped and looked back, and began the noises again. It was obvious she was curious and wanted to see what would happen, but she was still careful.
As Eloise made her statements, Bruno watched contently from the shade. Often, when Eloise or one of the other females is getting a lot of attention from someone, Bruno will come between the female and the adoring fan. Sometimes he'll put his hand on top of Eloise's head or around her as if to say, "This is my girl." Or, sometimes, he just seems to want her fans to adore his handsome self. But, since Eloise didn't seem to be soaking up the attention as usual, Bruno seemed to enjoy her entertaining gestures.
After a while, the owners and dogs left, Eloise quickly followed them around the exhibit until they were out of site. At the other side of the exhibit, Eloise built up a human fan base. She enjoyed the attention from the humans. That's when Bruno stepped in. He moved over and sat right in front of her ... between Eloise and the visitors adoring her. When their adoration directed toward him, he was happy, and moved against the netting to hear their wonderful remarks about his handsome being. Awww... Bruno.