The unfortunate reality for all chimpanzees that face captivity (even ones in a high-quality sanctuary) is that captive life can be boring. Chimpanzees are highly intelligent and active primates, and the truth is that no enclosure could possibly replicate the constant changes and choices that free-living situations provide. Another unfortunate reality is chimpanzees that have grown up in captivity cannot be returned safely to the wild where they belong. It is for this reason that sanctuaries exist, to give captive chimpanzees as many choices and enhancements in their lives as possible, while still keeping them safe, so that they can enjoy their lives in peace and comfort.
Caregivers at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest are always working towards improving the quality of physical and psychological stimuli that we have to offer the Cle Elum 7. We provide a variety of environmental enrichment to challenge their bodies and minds and we are always looking for more ideas. Today we wanted to announce our newest foray into the world of enrichment project sharing, the Database of Chimpanzee Enrichment!
Several months ago we started building a database tool for chimpanzee caregivers around the world to be able to browse our enrichment activities. However, simply compiling and sharing our ideas is not the end of the road! Not only will online visitors be able to see and learn about the types of enrichment that CSNW uses, but we also hope to be able to learn from and share the enrichment of other facilities over time. We have a couple of guidelines for submitting enrichment ideas to us so please visit this link if you are interested in contributing.
Everyone should feel free to peruse this database at their leisure, adding comments or questions at the bottom of each enrichment post. Please also share this blog post on social media to help get the word out! Hopefully, this collaborative effort will lead to an open dialogue about enrichment and help enhance and improve the lives of captive chimpanzees everywhere.
So without further adieu, we bring you the Database of Chimpanzee Enrichment!