Free living chimpanzees make nests high up in the trees using twigs, branches and leaves. Captive chimpanzees, even those who were born at labs, often make nests too. It’s a natural chimpanzee behavior. Negra and Jody both make massive nests out of piles and piles of blankets and sheets. They carefully arrange the blankets as I imagine their counterparts in Africa carefully arrange their twigs and leaves.
I love taking apart the nests in the morning when we clean. Sometimes I feel like an archaeologist, carefully unveiling layer upon layer. Not only do they use blankets and sheets, but they also stash other treasures in their nests. Today, one of the nests I came across included a shoe, a belt, a cup, a paintbrush, a scrub-brush, and three sheets:
While we can’t give them forests and trees, it’s great to know that we’re giving them what they need to express natural chimpanzee behaviors, even if that means scrub brushes and belts! -Sarah
Shelly Knapp says
I find it amazing that they stash their treasures in their nests like that! Thanks for sharing the information Sarah.
And please know that free-living chimpanzees build a new nest every night, and so when Sarah and others go in and disassemble last night’s nests, it’s not a hardship on the chimps. 🙂
Good point, Kindree. Actually, most of the chimps at CSNW (Missy and Jody come to mind) will reassemble their nests several times during the day – sometimes moving them from one place to another, sometimes adding blankets (and treasure), and, yes, sometimes steeling someone else’s bed to make their own.
Dawn Corby says
You are all such angels to be able to help these amazing animals.
My heart fills with joy whenever I hear of more chimps being released from labs. Such an honor to be in their company. Such a blessing that they have you to protect them.
Janine Alfieri says
It’s such a pleasure to see them at last out of the lab so they will not suffer anymore. Thank you very much for what you do ..