What’s better than lunch? SECOND LUNCH.
On Friday, J.B.’s blog post featured a video of seven chimpanzees being served lunch in the Greenhouse. Today, we decided to record lunch on the other side of the building where Honey B, Mave and Willy B reside.
As J.B. explained, the seven chimps in the original group have a specific way of doing things. The newer residents are quite different; among those three, each individual has their own characteristic style and pace.
Honey B gingerly sorts through her food, eating each piece very slowly. She often saves some pieces for last by piling them up between her feet.
Mave is wary of the others and mostly keeps to herself while she scarfs down her food.
Willy B practically inhales his food, making it disappear like some sort of magic trick. When it’s all gone, he sometimes intimidates others into giving up theirs. To promote tolerance and patience, we space out his portions and reward him with extras for letting the others finish their meals in peace. Usually, this special reward is an apple. Teaching him to cooperate using positive reinforcement is less disruptive than separating him from the group. To date, it seems to be working well for Willy and his companions.
This afternoon, I served lunch to the three chimps in the Mezzanine (as you can see in the video). We completed the Mezzanine in August of 2019 and it is currently their largest indoor enclosure. Soon, the three sanctuary inhabitants will be able to access the new playrooms (which are more than twice as big) and, eventually, their own outdoor greenhouse enclosure!