Each evening, before leaving for the day, we prepare some sort of puzzle or activity for the chimps to work on. There are a variety of ideas that we rotate throughout the month, including KONGs, Boomer balls, drink buckets and pine cones, to name a few. So, I thought I’d share a few of these on the blog today.
We add nuts or a mixture of mashed bananas or avocados into the open holes for the chimps to figure out how to get out.
We place peanuts inside the balls and the chimps have to shake and move the balls to get at the nuts inside. Some of the chimps use chopsticks as tools to get the nuts out. In the following photos, Foxie used her finger to help get at the peanuts inside.
We skewer small food pieces (grapes are a favorite) inside of paper rolls and tie the “kebabs” to the outside of the caging. Below Burrito demonstrates how to hold onto the caging and use his fingers to try to pull the paper rolls inside.
Add a few raisins in toward the center of the cone and smear peanut butter along the outside and voila, a pretty special treat that keeps the chimps busy for quite a while.
There are a variety of options when using buckets as enrichment. Sometimes we fill the buckets with water, adding lemons or limes for some flavor and give the chimps long plastic straws to drink from. Other times we place seeds and nuts inside the buckets and the chimps have to knock the buckets over and use a tool to “sweep” the seeds toward them. Below, Annie demonstrates how to drink the flavored water from the bucket that was placed outside of the caging.
Jamie demonstrates how to use a chopstick to push raisins through the holes in this hanging raisin board.
Alberta Maged says
The bucket of Flavored water –when inside there do they toilet? Not just where they sit? They wouldn’t want to have wet or smeared blankets, etc. inquiring minds want to know.
Hi Alberta. The chimps are free to go to the “bathroom” anywhere and yes, they do usually go outside of their nests, as to keep them clean.
Donna Oleksiuk says
So interesting! Thank you for that post! And the wonderful accompanying pictures. Just great 🙂
I was wondering where the chimps sleep at night. Do they sleep together or in separate rooms? Also – do they make nests for themselves from the blankets? It would be nice to see some pictures of them sleeping! <3
Carla René says
They absolutely make nests from the blankets. They have a ton of video and still shots posted here, and video on YT of the sleeping/napping situations. Just do keyword searches for stuff like blankets, naps, etc., and they’ll pop in the searches for you.
Interesting questions Donna. At night the chimps have access to all enclosures except Young’s Hill, so they can choose to sleep anywhere they wish. Depending on the temperature, some of the chimps build their blanket nests upstairs in the Playroom (the floors are heated indoors), while other chimps tend to sleep in the Front Rooms. Most of the chimps sleep by themselves, but often times we will find Missy and Annie’s nests side by side. Not everyone builds nests, such as Foxie. She tends to sleep right on the floor or on one of the ledges.
Most of the time, it’s hard to get good pics of them sleeping in their nests because they are awake by the time we arrive in the morning. Here are a couple of links to previous blog posts regarding nesting.
I’m curious if any of the chimps get frustrated. Or are they so food driven that they don’t give up. Fascination lesson on enrichment, thank you.
Yes Francoise, the chimps definitely do get frustrated. Some may give up, while others (like Jamie) will continue to work on the puzzle, sometimes even as late as the next morning.
Carla René says
I wondered the same thing, and if any of them worked them so fast they made the humans feel stupid for even trying. ????????
Elaine Reininger says
Clever little devils, aren’t they? I never cease to be amazed at how like humans they are, which makes their confined pasts and being experimented on all the more horrible. I am so happy for these 7 but so sad that there are still some animals being abused and deprived of their freedom.