The chimpanzees spend more time resting and socializing in the heated indoor areas as the weather gets wetter and colder.
We’ve recently been focusing much of our content on the chimps’ outdoor enclosures, especially Young’s Hill and The Bray. Large outdoor habitats are irreplaceable because they provide chimpanzees with unique opportunities to engage in “natural” behaviors such as climbing, foraging, and patrolling as a group. The greenhouse-type enclosures, including the new Riverview and Oakwood Greenhouses, also have certain characteristics that the chimps can take full advantage of at their leisure.
Even so, chimpanzees living in sanctuary also need clean, climate-controlled, enriched indoor spaces. These are locations where they can be cozy, entertained and secure, regardless of the conditions outside. It would be easy to look at the artificial interiors and think that these enclosures are inferior to the outdoor ones, but the chimpanzees don’t seem to think so. Instead, the residents seem to utilize the various spaces differently so that together they provide one expansive, complex, multi-functional home.
Sofia highlighted the indoor front rooms in her September post “Back to Front Room 7” and Anna wrote about them again in last week’s post “Small space, big fun“. I thought it might be fun to share some additional video clips of the chimpanzees enjoying that same space today!