Chimp Stories

Love Stories: New Girls

Chimp Haven
Chimp Haven February 9, 2024

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and love is in the air at Chimp Haven! One of the wonderful things about life at the sanctuary is the friendships, families, bromances, and, yes, even romances, that develop between the retirees. We hope you enjoy a few of our favorite recent love stories.

There’s something irresistible about a confident girl who knows who she is, and Yeltsin and several of his pals have found themselves with Cupid’s bows straight to their hearts with the recent addition of two strong girls, Ahni and Sahba, to their ranks.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ahni and 33-year-old Sahba are two spicy personalities who proved to be just a little too spicy for their previous social group. Their caregivers thought this strong duo might benefit from a group of equally strong personalities, which is how they found themselves as the exciting newbies to Yeltsin’s social group of eight chimpanzees.

“This is a group of strong personalities, and Ahni and Sahba were known as instigators in their old group,” shares Caregiver Ellora Balmaceda.

As you can imagine, it was a bit of a fiery start when all these big personalities came together, but it took no time at all for our enemies-to-lovers plotlines to begin.

“The boys immediately took a liking to the two new girls,” says Ellora. “And now Yeltsin and Ulysses are totally in love with Ahni.”

We’ve heard Ahni described as both an “effortless beauty” and a “twenty-something in a grandma’s body.” Regardless of the eye of any human beholder, Yeltsin and Ulyssess find her completely irresistible.

“It’s funny because she’s not super playful or outgoing, but she’s magnetic with other chimps. She’s always a hit,” says Caregiver Rebecca.

With Ulysses in the alpha role and Yeltsin serving as his reliable beta, you might think there was a rivalry mounting, but easygoing Yeltsin knows his place and has no interest in starting trouble.

Ulysses and Yeltsin are doing their best to impress

“Yeltsin is an adorable, sweet boy, and he loves his ladies, especially small ladies like Ahni,” says Ellora. “He’s always close by her.”

Sweet boy Yeltsin takes every opportunity to spend time with Ahni

While Ahni stars in her very own season of The Bachelorette, the other half of this spicy pair of ladies, Sahba, has also attracted an admirer.

Once the initial introductions were made and the boys in the group became infatuated with Ahni, caregivers started to notice that 38-year-old Debbie was paying extra special attention to her new groupmate, Sahba.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and there’s no one Debbie wants to flatter more than Sahba. Overnight it seems that Debbie has decided Sahba is the coolest chimp to ever move into the neighborhood, and she’s determined to emulate her.  

In addition to being a feisty, strong lady, Sahba is also known for her signature red dumbbell, which she carries around everywhere. Given her new girl crush, it wasn’t long before Debbie decided she needed a dumbbell of her own.

“A couple of weeks ago the group happened to get red dumbbells as part of their enrichment,” says Ellora. “Debbie looked at Sahba, looked at the dumbbell, put it in her mouth just like Sahba does, and walked outside with her new accessory.”

Debbie has set her sights on becoming just like cool girl, Sahba; Sahba has set her sights on avoiding Debbie.

“A few nights later,” continues Ellora, “We’d just cleaned their bedrooms and laid out fresh hay. Sahba likes to build huge nests and had taken a bunch of hay up into the cupola in her play yard to build a cozy bed. Debbie climbed up right behind her with a tiny little scoop of hay and added it to Sahba’s nest. It was like she was saying, ‘Hey, where should I put this in our new nest?”

Debbie holds Sahba in high esteem, but their caregivers say the admiration is one-sided.

“Debbie copies everything she does, but Sahba doesn’t really care – she just prefers to keep to herself,” says Ellora.

Whether they like it or not, Ahni and Sahba have clearly caught the attention of their new groupmates, and their newfound fame doesn’t look to be fading anytime soon.

Chimp Haven
Chimp Haven