Jackson and the Office Chair

Jackson and the Office Chair

Enrichment comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s painting, puzzle feeders, toys, clothing, or even structural enrichment like hammocks and ropes, as long as it entertains the chimps and keeps them cognitively stimulated, we consider it successful. A novel object — something the chimps can inspect, manipulate and, let’s be honest, attempt to destroy — can also be an excellent form of enrichment. This week a broken office chair made a detour into a chimp enclosure on it’s way to the trash, and Jackson was beyond stoked. Something new to destroy! Hurrah!

He was quite creative in his attempts to break it. He pounded on it with his fists, he jumped up and down on the seat, he tore at the fabric, and he dragged it behind him as he ran (not an easy feat, let me tell you). Eventually he would get frustrated and walk off, but then he’d be back later on, with new methods of destruction to try out on the poor, helpless chair. This has gone on for three days now and the chair is surprisingly still in pretty good shape despite Jackson’s best efforts. However, I don’t like the chair’s chances. He was in the midst of attacking it when I fed lunch today, and barely looked up until everyone else had taken their lunch bags. He finally paused, looked back and forth between his lunch and the chair, and then reluctantly headed over to the feed door, giving it one last kick as he came. Though the chair is putting up an impressive fight, I’m pretty confident we’ll find it in pieces eventually. Jackson the Destroyer never gives up.

Rachel, Senior Caregiver

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Click here to watch Jackson’s
first brief attempt!