A common question people ask is if we put pools out for the chimpanzees (particularly in the summer) to sit or swim in. Yes we put out troughs, buckets and small pools of water out for them. However, swimming (or even standing) in shallow water is not something they like to do.
Most chimpanzees avoid water submersion of any type at all cost. Chimpanzees have dense muscular bodies that make them terrible swimmers and really adept sinkers. Perhaps you may have seen water moats carefully designed at zoos and sanctuaries to keep chimpanzees from escaping their enclosures. These moats usually include an additional barrier to prevent the chimpanzees from accidentally falling in the water. There are a few exceptions to this rule of course, but none of those exceptions live at CSNW.
That being said, the chimpanzees at this sanctuary love to enjoy water in other formats.
They love to eat water in its solid form. Here’s Cy:
Jamie in particular likes a good misting:
Here’s Rayne getting hydrated during Gordo’s birthday party earlier this week:
The chimpanzees have access to water spigots in their enclosure 24/7. Here Honey B drinks straight from the tap:
Jamie fills her watering can at the spigot so she can have her beverage “to go”:
Foxie uses a straw to enjoy a drink bucket that’s placed outside her enclosure:
Above you will also find a video of Missy and Burrito “fishing” for sunflower seeds as an afternoon enrichment project. Notice how Missy perches on the edge of the trough and strategically positions herself so she doesn’t get her feet wet.
We are on the edge of a big heat wave coming our way next week so we will certainly be working at keeping the chimps extra hydrated and comfortable in the coming days. Stay cool friends!