Here’s another great question we received from a donor: “Why is sugar-free chewing gum on your wish list? Hmmm…”
Chewing gum is sort of a daily treat for chimpanzees – they really enjoy it, and since the gum is sugar-free it does not cause harm to their teeth. This is a strategy to alleviate boredom. The #1 challenge of providing quality of life for captive chimpanzees is figuring out how to keep their minds active – because they can get extremely depressed when they don’t have enough to do. We will also give the chimpanzees access to ice, toothbrushes, and plant materials that chimpanzees have been known to enjoy chewing, because it gives them something to do and breaks up an otherwise mundane day.