The Chimps Test Their New Enrichment

The Chimps Test Their New Enrichment

Yesterday, on intern Alana’s last day, we added a new piece of structural enrichment that she had built for the chimps to their large indoor playhouse. A seat that looked like roller coaster chairs was hung up from the ceiling as a new swing. Every time a new piece of structural enrichment is added to an enclosure, the chimps are quick to notice and test out how sturdy it is. As we had also filled this enclosure with a forage lunch (scattered greens, veggies, and fruit) the chimps excitedly burst into the room and seemed more focused on this feast than on their new swing. Jackson though, noticed something new right away, and in typical adolescent male fashion, immediately wanted to know if he could break it. He jumped on the swing and began hitting it rapidly as if it were a punching bag. He then used his teeth to tear chunks out of the seat and threw them on the floor. Thrilled with his new toy, “Jackson the Destroyer” continued to lunge, hang, pull, punch, and bite this swing until he exhausted himself. Satisfied with his work so far, Jackson was ready to eat, but returned to this swing several times throughout the day. With Jackson around, this enrichment may not last too long, but it sure is making him happy. I suppose their is no wrong way to use enrichment as long as the chimps are having fun. Thanks to intern Alana for creating this new toy for the chimps!

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Kaleigh R., Caregiver/Social Media Editor