Here at the sanctuary, mother nature seems to be making up for the lack of snow the past few years with an abundance over the past few days. This seasonal abundance provides great enrichment for the chimpanzees, who often venture out onto Young’s Hill (the chimps’ outdoor enclosure) to search for the snowy treats. But sometimes on days like today, it snows too hard for them to venture out to gather it themselves, so staff and volunteers bring it in to them.
Today, volunteer caregivers Patti and Stephanie discussed how best to present the snow to the chimps. After figuring out that the snow was not the best for making a snowman, they decided on making little snowballs with raisins inside of them. While they were doing that, staff member Elizabeth filled various containers and a new enrichment barrel with the newly fallen snow.
After cleaning, we brought the snowballs, containers and giant barrel inside and put them out in the Playroom (one of the chimps’ indoor enclosures). There were also large boxes full of paper as part of today’s “Lots of Paper” enrichment theme. We also put out lettuce as a forage item. Before giving the chimps access to the Playroom, we put bets on which of the items the chimps would go for first. Three out of the four of us here today voted that snowballs would be first, followed by the boxes of paper. Which one do you think the chimps went for first?
Well, we forgot to factor in the lettuce forage and that is what all of the chimps went for first, so we all lost the bet I guess. How did you do?
Jamie and Missy did peak into the barrel of snow, then the boxes of paper, but then went right back to foraging for lettuce.
After all the lettuce was eaten, Jamie settled down to do some more thorough investigating of the boxes and barrel of snow.
Much to my surprise, the snowballs were last!
While Jamie was busy with the barrel and boxes, Jody sat on the bridge and ate snow from one of the containers.
After all of the lettuce was finished, Annie, Burrito and Foxie stayed in the loft eating snow from containers but were out of sight and Negra relaxed under a blanket nest.