We provide food to the chimps in a variety of ways. Sometimes we serve them individually, either hand to mouth or hand to hand through the caging. This ensures that everyone is getting their fair share and gives us a great opportunity to monitor and evaluate the chimps’ health up close. Other times we put food in puzzles like the termite mound or raisin boards, giving the chimps a chance to use tools and their incredible problem-solving abilities. But my (and Burrito’s) favorite method is the forage. For a forage, we cut the food into small pieces and spread it throughout the enclosure while the chimps are locked out. Then we let them back in and they proceed to search for their meal. Foraging encourages activity and usually discourages stress and aggression because it’s difficult to steal or hoard food when it is spread out over such a large area, though Jamie sometimes tries her best.
The GoPro camera provides an interesting glimpse into a forage on the hill and it also allows us to hear all the groans and food squeaks that we would otherwise miss.