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!