As part of the chimpanzees’ enrichment theme for the day, they have been enjoying forages all day! In the wild, chimpanzees spend most of their waking hours foraging for food, often traveling many miles. We try to offer forages as often as we can not only to encourage their natural foraging behavior, but to give them something exciting and interesting to do.
It’s probably the warmest day of the year here so far and we were able to put breakfast and lunch forages on Young’s Hill. What’s also great about Young’s Hill forages is that it keeps the chimpanzees engaged for much of the day as they frequently venture out throughout the day to see if they missed anything.
Dinner forage was set up in the playroom which included sweet potatoes, roasted squash, tomatoes, the best smelling yellow roses from Diana and J.B’s yard, and, the piece de resistance? The chimps’ friend and supporter, Pat C., gifted them with whole coconuts today! As we were setting the forage up I think it was the “food squeaking heard ’round the world.” We broke up a few to make sure everyone would find some and then hid a couple of whole ones as special treats for a couple people to find. Well, let’s be serious, for Jamie to find, and hopefully someone else.
As predicted, Jamie found the first whole coconut and made sure to hang onto it while foraging for everything else:
Thank goodness for those opposable toes:
Foxie found a cup of tomato juice and seemed to enjoy licking spilled coconut milk off the floor:
Negra enjoying her coconut:
Everyone got plenty of coconut pieces, but we couldn’t see who found the other whole coconut. Then we heard someone cracking it on the floor and found Missy looking pretty pleased:
Thanks so much to Pat C. for bringing the chimpanzees such a special treat! Jamie carried her coconut around in a box with her until she finished all the other forage options she wanted. The chimp house is closed up for the evening and most of the chimps are making their nests for the night as they snack on the last bits of the forage. As I type this, I’m smiling because I can hear Jamie finally trying to break that coconut open. Crack…crack…crack…