Patti and the Stick Matrix

Patti and the Stick Matrix

One day for enrichment, the interns put together several stick matrices for the chimps’ outdoor enclosures. This novel enrichment consisted of a plastic crate interlaced into a “matrix” with sticks, and at the bottom of the crate we placed paper plates with some yummy low-calorie treats such as mustard and salad dressing. The stick matrices were attached to the outer walls of the outdoor enclosures for any chimps that wanted to try their hand. Some of the chimps ignored the stick matrices, but Patti stepped up to the challenge. By using all of the tools at her disposal (sticks, hands, mouth), Patti was able to wrestle several treat-dipped sticks and eventually the paper plate out of the matrix and into her mouth. Along the way, we saw her execute some tricky maneuvers such as getting the plastic crate to turn around against the enclosure wall, and pulling fallen items towards her with already-licked sticks!

Kristen, Intern