Burrito, the tool user

August 10th, 2011 by Jackie

Here at the sanctuary, we are constantly trying to find ways to encourage species-typical behaviors. Tool use is a great example. Presenting the chimps with a challenge that encourages problem solving keeps the chimps busy and entertained, which is so important in a captive environment.

Unlike Jamie, Burrito isn’t much of a tool user. J.B. said it perfectly in this post from last year- it’s not that he’s not intelligent enough, he just seems to lack the patience to use tools, especially when he can just ask for help from a caregiver.

However, the addition of the puzzles in the evenings to our daily routine has changed things a bit, and Burrito has been sharpening his skills. The fact that the puzzles are set up at the end of the day just before the caregivers leave, means that he can’t exactly ask for our help in some cases, so he’s becoming more and more willing to give it a try. There’s nothing like food to motivate Burrito!

14 Responses to “Burrito, the tool user”

  1. marie cross ( uk ) says:

    wonderful ! fantastic progress Mr B ! i adore his food squeaks 🙂

  2. Marina Cresswell says:

    He’s so excited, so sweet.

  3. Denice says:

    You are right… Nothing like food to motivate Mr. B.
    When the spoon was offered and he took it and started to use it I was yelling at my computer screen..


  4. Jeani Goodrich says:

    The tube puzzles are terrific. What was in them? Good ole Mr. B, your squeaks are wonderful!!! Thanks Jackie!

    • Diana says:

      that particular concoction was blended peanut butter, hemp protein powder, banana, blueberries and a bit of blueberry pomegranate juice

  5. Marcia Douthwaite says:

    Jackie–I have been missing Burrito, thanks for showing us his progress and his sweet face!

  6. Candy (Tyler, Texas) says:

    Mr. B has come a long way since the video when he became frustrated at trying to get the straw into the bowl for some slurping. Thanks for the Mr. B video, keep them coming. Have you purchased the other puzzle feeders yet?

    • Jackie says:

      Yes! and they are awesome! They are balls made of a super strong material with a few holes in them. They have a chain on them that can be attached to the outside of the enclosure. I’ll try to post a video of them soon. 🙂

  7. Brenna says:

    After he got that spoon he was like he hadn’t eaten in a week. Love you Mr B. 🙂

  8. Amy G. says:

    Thank you so much. I have been missing that handsome face. Those were the sweetest food squeaks & like Denice, when he used the spoon, I said out loud, The Other End!!! Sweet boy : )

  9. Kathy says:

    You said Food and Burrito says. I am ready for the challenge. I love him so much. well I love all of them. Thanks for sharing the video. I great appreciate you guys posting videos and photos. Did he learn to turn his spoon around.

    • Jackie says:

      He did turn it around a couple of times but for some reason he seemed to prefer the other end… probably that lack of patience thing! 🙂

  10. Kat Morrell says:

    I was interesting to see how facile Jamie is with her hands and tools. She is such a pro.

    Burrito is making great progress and seems to enjoy the challenge. He sure was excited to get tiny bits of that watermelon.

  11. Carrie says:

    Burrito has the sweetest face. My heart melts just watching him try to figure things out. I loved his enthusiasm for the watermelon.