Most of us have probably seen the many photos of chimpanzees in the wild using tools to fish for termites. As a general rule, chimpanzees that have grown up in captivity don’t have the same taste for insects that you see in wild chimpanzees. I would bet lots of money if you tried to serve Honey B a termite she would be totally disgusted with you. The chimps seem to find fishing for peanut butter to be a more ideal situation.
Here’s Jamie fishing for peanut butter in a PVC tube attached to the outside the caging:
I think we all have a tendency to forget that some of the chimps at the sanctuary actually do occasionally eat insects (but only wasp larvae, so far as we’ve seen). The wasps are most prevalent this time of year and we try to remove any nests we find near the chimp enclosures to prevent both humans and chimps from the almost inevitable summer stings. Since the outdoor space is so large, we sometimes miss the ones being built on Young’s Hill. If you watch the above video you will get up close and personal with Jamie as she dissects a wasp nest she found on the hill.
Watching Jamie reminded me of a blog Diana wrote 5 years ago on the topic. In the blog she wrote: “Watching her, it wasn’t entirely clear to me how much of the larvae she was eating, because she seemed to be selectively eating some parts and not others, but she was clearly enjoying the experience.” After seeing Jamie’s careful deconstruction of the nest from a much closer vantage point (through a window), I’ve deduced that she seems to eat only the squishy larva stage of the wasp and not the older, more developed pupa stage. Don’t worry though, Missy was right behind her to finish off the rest of it.