One of the most challenging and rewarding responsibilities of care-giving for chimpanzees in captivity is, I think, coming up with activities and enrichment ideas that are engaging and satisfactory for the chimpanzee mind. Keeping them busy is a full-time job (just ask enrichment coordinator and caregiver, Debbie). Luckily we don’t have to come up with ideas in the dark. Each chimpanzee has individual inclinations about how to spend their days in sanctuary and, as I come to know them better, I can accommodate those preferences more easily.
As you may be aware by now, Jamie does like to create art. But Jamie’s not just an artist. Her mind is so active that she comes up with a myriad of ways to entertain herself. In particular, Jamie is often actively engaged in her environment. She will take the time to inspect any and every new or unusual thing in and around her home. If there is something different at the sanctuary, Jamie will know and make sure it’s been thoroughly investigated and properly dealt with (if necessary). There is a lot of work that goes into being the boss! Good thing she gets the time to relax and create art in between all her other responsibilities.
If you’d like a quick and easy way to help enrich the chimpanzees make sure you’ve voted for Jamie’s artwork in the chimpanzee-only art contest sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.
In the meantime, check Jamie out as she checks out the world around her.