One of our volunteers brought a giant roll of paper for the chimps (thanks David!), and with it, Jody created one of the greatest nests of all time.
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Candy (Tyler, Texas) says
I find it interesting that Jody and other captive chimpanzees make nests using other types of material. It’s that they recognize that it can be used for nesting that’s interesting. I wonder if wild chimpanzees, given the opportunity, would use material or paper for making a nest.
What a wonderful enrichment! I’m just so thankful that these chimps are finally learning and enjoying what it is to be a chimp. And that’s an interesting question you pose, Candy. I would think that chimps learn from each other but these chimps seem to be nesting based on some instinctive nature. If wild chimpanzees got a hold of material or paper, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do the same thing. Of course, they might destroy the material first….. 🙂
Is it possible to smile out loud, because that’s what I do every time I see videos of these guys!
Her focus is fascinating. I love the way the look at every aspect of their nests and make adjustments to get it just so. Is nesting instinctual? Many people think it’s a learned behavior. Maybe both. I saw two year old infant make an impressive nest. This infant was an orphan of the bush meat trade and was rescued at a very early age, about a year old, with other infants who did not build nests. Eventually the other infants began nest building by watching him. Where did this little guy learn how to build a nest when he was taken from his mother when he was still so young and on his mother’s belly? It’s questions like this that fascinate me.
I’ve seen many a nest made by a chimpanzee…and this is Definitely one of the greatest 🙂 I wish that more captive chimpanzees were given such a variety of materials to nest with at all times of day, because it would be great for more visitors at captive facilities, such as zoos, to get to see chimpanzees engaging in such species-specific behaviors…
Jeani Goodrich says
What a nest! I too enjoyed seeing the great concentration Jody had on her face. And watching her find more paper was fascinating. Thanks, JB.
I always wondered: Do the chimps go back to a nest they made on a particular day or is a nest just a one-day project for them to enjoy — and then on to another one the next day!
I am concerned as I did not see an outdoor area for them. I am a fan of Jane Goodall. Although I am happy they are no longer used for medical research, I wish they had an outdoor area in which to play. So much concrete….do you have a natural habitat for them? I would appreciate a reply.
Hi Jacki – Thanks for writing and sharing your concerns. We recently covered the chimps’ outdoor enclosure in removable greenhouse panels to provide them with a bright, warm space during the winter months. Soon, we’ll be taking the panels off for the summer.
I’m sure you understand what a challenge it is to provide for chimpanzee released from biomedical research. Our organization is relatively new, and we are doing all we can to provide the best environment for the chimps that our resources allow. Our facility, like the majority of chimpanzee sanctuaries in the U.S., does not currently include a naturalistic enclosure, but we have to start somewhere (e.g. getting the chimps out of the windowless laboratory basement), and we will never stop working to improve their lives. In addition to the greenhouse, which has improved their lives dramatically, we will soon be replacing some caged windows in their play room with chimp-proof glass, so that they have a less obstructed view. We are looking forward to expanding their outdoor space as funds allow.
hcm – Captive chimpanzees, like free-living chimpanzees, like to create new nests each night. They will often return to a nest during the day, but they really enjoy the ritual of nest creation when they bed down for the night. Even when they reuse the same material (which isn’t often, because we wash the sheets and blankets each day), they will tear the old nest apart and start over.