I’ve recently been asked about how we receive kisses from the chimpanzees. The simple answer is that the chimpanzees extend their lips through the wire caging toward us and we put the back of our hand up towards their lips. But, words can only describe so much; pictures actually show it. So, today I tried to capture that through photos, but none of the chimps offered kisses to me (perhaps because I had the camera in hand?). So, I had to resort to the next best way of showing how the chimpanzees extend their prehensile lips towards us to give us a kiss. Meal time is the perfect opportunity to capture the chimpanzees extending their lips through the wire caging.
In the following photos, volunteer caregiver Becca served breakfast to the chimps this morning. On the menu were red pears and oranges, along with a watermelon, banana and protein powder smoothie. Each of the chimpanzees are also given fiber pills and vitamins every morning. You will notice in the following pictures that Becca’s fingers never penetrate the caging. For safety reasons, we consider the caging to be a barrier between our space and that of the chimpanzees, therefore we never stick our fingers into the enclosures.