How did the chimpanzees celebrate the Easter holiday this year? In pure chimp fashion, of course (meaning, a lot of food, enrichment and a good ol’ fashion Easter egg hunt on Young’s Hill). Some of the party preparations included festive blankets, streamers, boxes in the shape of bunnies, books, toys, Easter baskets, bags and eggs.
We decided to set out a breakfast forage in the Greenhouse this morning using appropriate dinnerware, including Easter cups, plates, napkins and straws. Breakfast consisted of grapefruit, muskmelon, grapes and oranges. Probably the biggest hit (next to primate chow) was the morning banana, almond milk, coconut flake smoothie topped with violet flowers.
Setting up the streamers and the forage is a pretty exciting time and the chimps will often watch from the windows of the loft area that overlooks the Greenhouse. There’s usually a lot of food squeaks, head nodding and intense watching from the chimps, as staff and volunteers use their skills to transform an area into a party room.
And what would Easter be without an Easter egg hunt? Young’s Hill is the perfect place for just that. We also “planted” carrots, beets, radishes and kohlrabi on the hill for the chimps to forage for lunch.
And finally, photos of the Cle Elum 7 enjoying their Easter party today.
Sometimes I wonder who has more fun at these parties; the humans or the chimpanzees. Often times, weeks before a holiday or birthday party, there is talk of what sorts of items (food, enrichment, decorations, etc.) that would be “chimp approved” that can be used to throw the party. Then there’s the time and energy that go into the preparation of the food, enrichment and the actual party setup (and clean up too). Every single bit of it is completely worth it, once we see how much the chimps enjoy the parties.
Parties are a way of breaking up the routine of day-to-day life and we’re more than happy to make this happen for the chimps, but we certainly do not do it alone. We want to be sure to offer a huge thank you to everyone that helps make celebrations like these so special, including Jayne Roepke, Lisa Stuverud, and Patti Sims. Thank you for all of the holiday decorations, enrichment, eggs and food. You helped make this Easter a hit!!