In their natural habitat, chimpanzees help maintain their ecosystem by helping with the dispersal of seeds. They disperse seeds by either ingesting the fruit or nut and later depositing the seeds elsewhere in their feces, or wadging the seed or nut and leaving it somewhere else in their habitat. Once the chimpanzee leaves the seeds via droppings or wadge, it germinates and a new generation of fruit tree can begin to grow. It is one of the many upon many of reasons protecting wild chimpanzee populations is important. It helps maintain the natural ecosystem.
Seed dispersal can also occur in captivity. Last summer, we had noticed a couple of pumpkin plants growing in the Oakwood Greenhouse. This year is no different. In fact, this years seems like there is more of a variety of plants growing throughout the sanctuary. Some of them can be attributed to the night bags the chimpanzees receive at dinner, while others are a bit more curious. They are sometimes part of the ingredients we use for the chimpanzees’ morning smoothie, and the only way they could have started to grow is by the chimpanzees passing them.
Here are some of the plants growing in the greenhouses (currently):
It also appears that growing is not exclusive to the greenhouses:
Though these plants probably won’t grow to their full potential since the chimpanzees will probably root them out at some point, we can only hope they are left untouched and can start growing some fruits/veggies.
Here are some of the seed dispersers today!
Mave and Rayne:
And some photos of our recovering Queen Negra:
Negra seems to not mind this set up. She has been staying out of the family politics, been covered in blankets, receiving a lot of attention from the human caregivers…
And yes, Hawaiian rolls!