The Chimps Create Their Own Enrichment

The Chimps Create Their Own Enrichment

As a caregiver, a lot of time is spent making sure all our chimps are happy and stimulated. This usually involves hiding treats in boxes or purses, making novel foods. This poses a big challenge for us, to always be coming up with new ideas! Sometimes, though, we get lucky and the chimps create their own enrichment. For example, this week, we finally had some sunny weather after a couple weeks of pretty cold temperatures and overcast skies. The chimps were loving being outdoors, as were our director’s dogs, who usually hang out in a dog corral under the tunnels when the weather is nice.

Kevin and I were inside cleaning the chimp house when we saw Jackson through the window playing with the dogs below him. In classic Jackson style, he was slapping the floor of the tunnel with his hands, and initiating chase with the dogs. They were fully engaged, running back and forth with him, and falling for all his taunts. One of his favorite things to do is to dangle a blanket or sheet from the tunnel to try to get their attention, and later in the day, I found three blankets in the corral. Clearly, everyone was having a good time! It is so wonderful when we see the chimps playing together or with the other animals they can see from their enclosures!

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Makaela T., Caregiver