In recent weeks, we’ve implemented a number of precautionary measures to prevent the chimpanzees from being exposed to the coronavirus. At the same time, we’re ramping up routine health monitoring to aid in early detection should a chimpanzee become ill. Thanks to years of positive reinforcement training, body temperatures can be collected quickly and easily at mealtimes. Chimps, like humans, exhibit individual variation in baseline temperatures and temperature readings vary depending on how they are obtained (no-contact, oral, rectal, armpit, etc.). But by collecting temperatures routinely and consistently we can notice trends that could indicate infection before other clinical symptoms appear.
Mave, Honey B, and Willy B, our newest residents, learned quickly and are also enjoying this daily routine!