As you probably know, the Cle Elum Seven love food. Most of their diet at the sanctuary consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, plus nuts and seeds and primate chow, but they also enjoy chewing and wadging on browse (I just looked this up – Merriam-Webster defines browse as, “tender shoots, twigs, and leaves of trees and shrubs used by animals for food.”)
I know we’ve defined wadging on the blog a few times before. Here’s one post that mentions it. Maybe some of you avid blog followers can find the other posts that talk about wadges and wadging – the Merriam-Webster definition, shockingly, doesn’t cover chimp wadging. Basically it’s when chimps gather up food, browse, or even paper or cardboard, put it between their lower lip and bottom teeth and suck the juices out. Sometimes they add a bit of water to the mix. If they are wadging a food like primate chow, they will eventually ingest it, but often they just spit out the wadge when they’ve finished getting the good stuff out.
J.B. recently bought some loose alfalfa and some condensed cubes of alfalfa, and the chimps have been enjoying both. Providing the chimps with browse is great because it’s not only potentially nutritious, but it also creates a time consuming activity.
Below are a series of photos of Missy in a window sill perch going down to get some more alfalfa and bringing it back up to her spot:
and here are a couple of photos of Jody from today chewing on some alfalfa cubes: