Jackson and His Toys

Jackson and His Toys

Here at Chimps Inc we use lots of plush animals as enrichment for the chimps. While some of these toys are ignored, occasionally one of the chimps finds a toy that they absolutely love. Several weeks ago, Patti, who is certainly not known for her fondness of stuffed animals, was captivated by a giant stuffed horse. Before we put it in her enclosure, it caught her eye and she asked desperately to see it. When she finally was in the same enclosure with it she hugged it, laid on it, and remained quite obsessed with it for several days.

While this was very unusual behavior for Patti, Jackson has been known to carry a toy around with him for days, when he finds one that he likes. Once Jackson finds the right toy, he doesn’t let it go until he has worn it out completely (which doesn’t take long because he is certainly not gentle.) This week, Jackson became very attached to a large plush duck, about half his size. When the group of chimps were let into the big outdoor enclosure, which was packed with fresh fruit on every surface as a special treat, Jackson did not follow the rest of the eager chimps. Instead he grabbed his duck in one hand and a blanket with his foot and set off in the opposite direction for some quiet time to himself.

After about three days of carrying this duck around, there were several large holes leaking stuffing. As Jackson raced full speed down the long outdoor tunnel, duck in hand, a trail of plush stuffing flew comically out of the toy in a trail behind him. We’ve spent several days cleaning up this stuffing which seems to create a path always leading to Jackson but Jackson loves this toy and continues carrying it around everywhere that he goes. Reminiscent of a child carrying around their favorite stuffed animal or security blanket, and loving it despite it’s tears, missing pieces, and faded colors, Jackson too loves his toys until they are worn down into almost nothing.

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Kaleigh, Social Media Editor