It has been one year and one week since Mave, Honey B, and Willy B arrived at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Since their arrival, we have introduced them to the nightly routine of evening enrichment puzzles. Talking to some of the other staff members, when the Three first arrived, they would have this look of confusion on their face when they received something AFTER their dinner.
The Evening Enrichment Puzzles are a way for the chimpanzees exercise their cognitive abilities while also receiving a food reward. Puzzles could also be seen as a means to try to alleviate boredom. The key to an enrichment problem is to not make them so easy, there is no challenge in completing them. It also means not to make them so difficult, they get frustrated and quit. There is a balance to be made when developing an enrichment food puzzle.
Now that the Three have been here for a year, they are used to (and sometimes anticipating) their evening puzzles. Here are some photos over the past several months of them engaged in their evening food puzzles:
Mave decided to forego using her chopstick for the Dipper Tubes and just use her fingers.
Willy B searches for more raisins in his Raisin Board.
Mave searches for more hidden treats inside her Firehose Cube.
Honey B trying to find the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a peanut butter Pine Cone.
Mave tries to fish out nuts from a Kong.
In the video, the Three interact with a puzzle called Frisbee Puzzles (or Hanging Frisbees). We realized after their party last week, that may have been the first time they received this puzzle. After it seemed they really enjoyed them last week, we decided to bump them up in the rotation and make the puzzles for them again today.