Jamie had one goal today and it was to pry that howdy door wide open. As you will see in the video that is not the case. Though, we will be starting the long awaited introduction soon. Jamie decided today she did not want to wait anymore! Jamie started with a toy that was put out for them an the playroom. She began hammering at the door and eventually modified the toy (tool) into what seemed more helpful for Jamie. Tool modification is also a behavior seen in the wild. An infamous example for wild chimps modifying tools would be fishing for termites. The chimps take a twig, strip it clean, dip their tool in the termite mound, the termites grab on to twig, and violà! Termites on a stick! When we put out a food puzzle for example: pvc tube with peanut butter, we often offer a tool like a chop stick to help. That way it is the chimps choice in using their finger or finding a potentially quicker way for them to get the peanut butter. Some chimps may adjust their tool to better help them obtain their goal! Or maybe even a better example is when there is food outside of the caging. The chimps will find an item such as a tooth brush, piece of paper, or a tube that will be able to allow them to pull the food closed so they can reach it. Jamie will sometimes find a piece of cardboard and rip the cardboard until it is the perfect tool to grab the food.
Jamie is an amazing tool user. However, Jamie’s goals are usually a bit different. Jamie is fascinated by actual human tools and will modify toys or objects to help her in her “projects” like opening the howdy door.