Getting chimpanzees to participate in their own medical care is incredibly important for their physical and psychological health. But some chimps, like Foxie, are reluctant to take part. After three decades in laboratories, who could blame her? But with patience, and lots of positive reinforcement, the chimps do learn to trust us. Sometimes, you just have to bend the rules and have a little fun.
Willy B spent some quality time in the courtyard today. I watched as he walked about eight feet across the grass to retrieve a cherry from the ground. He used a small plastic chair almost like a walker so that he had a grip on something familiar. Once he was safely back on the boardwalk, he pant-hooted and then climbed back up to the platform to relax. He even laid down in the shade out there for a while. He’s getting to the point where he only goes back inside for lunch…what a difference a month makes.
And guess who reached out to grab some cabbage from the boardwalk? This is how Willy B started – we’ll see if Mave follows the same course.