Our new team members Sam and Sofía have been rocketing through our staff training program this week. Regardless of their background or prior experience, all new trainees start by learning (or re-learning, in Sam and Sofia’s case) our daily routine. They’re refreshing themselves on enrichment prep, laundry, making meals, and of course, cleaning the chimpanzees’ enclosures from top to bottom. Perhaps the most important part of their training right now is memorizing the map of all the doors that we operate in the building and learning the checks process so we can safely enter enclosures (without the chimpanzees being present).
Next up for Sam and Sofia’s training is getting to know the chimpanzees! After becoming door “checks reliable,” they will start serving meals and interacting with the chimps under (fully-trained)staff supervision and gradually phase into doing these tasks safely on their own.
The final hurdle before staff members graduate to “fully trained” in the Chimp House is learning to operate the remote pneumatic/hydraulic doors that we use when shifting the chimpanzees from one space to another (and all the safety guidelines that come along with this responsibility). This final stage of training is also when they will start being “Lead Caregivers” for the day. They will be in charge of keeping the routine moving along for the day and that’s the time when you will start seeing their blog posts pop up on your screen!