I thought I would answer one of the questions from Diana’s blog post, “Inviting your Questions“. Also, if you have a burning question you have been wanting to ask, post it in Diana’s blog comments and one of us caregivers may make a blog and answer it!
So, let’s have an uncomfortable conversation. The question that everyone wants to know, but may feel too awkward asking. Poop, everybody does it. But, where do the chimps do it? I will be addressing this topic because it’s a fair question and one we get asked a lot. We do our best to not have poop in the videos or pictures, but the truth is it’s there.
In the wild chimps will use the bathroom and then keep traveling. Chimps in captivity unfortunately do not have that luxury of leaving it behind them. The chimps mostly poop or pee off of ledges. We see that chimps in the wild poop out of their nests in trees too. This could be why captive chimps are often using ledges. Kind of cool! Some chimps have specific spots, most others do not. There are some enclosures where they do tend to pick spots to go use the restroom. For example, the chimps often use the bathroom in the corner of the Greenhouse off the platform. It seems to be a good spot, out of the way where individuals won’t step in it. Though that might not be the pattern for everyone. In the playroom, they often go off the loft, or a barrel, or the cement steps near the drain. In the front rooms, they may use the restroom off the platform, a cement step near the drain, or again a piece of enrichment like a chair. In phase one, it seems the 3 also prefer to use a ledge. However, Willy B will pee anywhere… We clean each enclosure every day and spot clean at night. Sometimes after we are done cleaning and invite the chimps back into their space they use the bathroom right away and that is their choice. It is their home. Which is why we will spot clean before we leave for the night, because we want them to have a clean house, no one likes stepping in poop, so we do our best, but regardless there are 10 chimps and they have to use the bathroom.
Have you ever heard of fear poop? I don’t think it is a real term, but we use it. From time to time the chimps may have an altercation. When fights happen the bowel movement may let go, so to speak. Often after a fight it is a bit messy. In these cases, poop or pee could be anywhere.
Now one question you might also be wondering. Do chimps toot? Does it smell? The answer to both is yes. They have a diet of fruits, veggies, and nuts so I would say of course farts are going to smell, but not always. Just like us humans. For the chimps, there is no stigma for flatulence. They don’t laugh at each other or think it is gross, because well everyone does it! Even us, don’t lie :). Missy often lets one go when running! I mean do you see how fast she runs, there is no way anyone could hold one in going that speed!
Okay, here is a fun fact! Their pee does smell after they eat asparagus!
See that wasn’t so bad, right? Now I have some photos. We would never post photos of them using the restroom, because, well that is rude. Wouldn’t it be horrifying if someone took a photo of you and posted it. But, I have some photos to show as examples of the ledges they may use.
Ahh, yes, that is a nice ledge. It’s a little out of the way where no one is walking!
This photo is in the playroom. Look at all those options!
This platform is great for sleeping and also going to the bathroom over the ledge!
Another fun fact! Front room 4 is known as the portrait room because it has such great lighting. However, front room 4 is also know to be the potty room from time to time. It could be because this is a get ledge to do it!
These are the cement steps I am referring to. It’s the perfect place to stop and take a quick number 1 or 2!
The front rooms in phase 1 also have great platforms for pooping.
The mezzanine can kind of be a free for all. There are ledges and so many chairs to choose from.
See, Missy runs the toots right out of her.
Let’s not forget Young’s Hill. Because it is such a large outdoor enclosure, it is hard to find all the poop. For this area, we let nature do its thing.
Now, let’s stop thinking about poop and just look at some chimps. 🙂
Negra in a pile of blankets.
Mave looking into her own reflection.
Willy B grabbing his favorite blanket while trying to listen in on the neighbors.
Willy B being groomed by Mave.
Don’t worry, it is just a scab on Mave’s head that someone just freshly groomed.
Burrito climbing the Twister!
Jamie waiting for Burrito at the bottom.
Foxie exploring the Hill with her dolls. Construction is really coming along!
Honey B <3
Okay, one more of Burrito!