Blanket fort play

June 21st, 2012 by Debbie

The enrichment at the sanctuary changes daily, and we try to come up with different things to entertain the chimpanzees. As I was picking up trolls that had clearly been bitten into (some were ripped almost in half!) I was thinking that there must have been some sort of troll forage. Jackie confirmed that they did indeed have frozen watermelon in troll dolls as a forage the day before. I started wondering what the average person must think when they hear that caregivers fill troll dolls with frozen watermelon as a fun project. It must sound so strange! But the chimpanzees really love stuff like that, and we try to take advantage of the kind of enrichment we have (and we have TONS of trolls since they are a Foxie favorite) and make it even more enriching.

Today we set up a blanket fort—we tied blankets together and made a really low ceiling for the chimps to walk under. It was sort of like the day we draped some blankets over the barrels, but this was bigger and more spread out. And it was enriching for the chimps, so I think we succeeded in our goal!

The blanket fort lasted a pretty long time, however I just saw Jody taking it down in order to nest with the blankets. She seemed pretty content with all the blankets she managed to collect since they were tied together.

9 Responses to “Blanket fort play”

  1. leslie sodaro says:

    what wonderful benefits your human children will derive from the ape enrichment you caregivers have to creatively devise. now that i think of it, i think every ‘pre-parent’ should do a semister of Creative Ape Enrichment down at the local city college … no credits, just happier human kiddies.

  2. Sara Lissabet, Fairfax says:

    Be honest, you guys had as much fun setting up the fort forage as the chimps had playing in it!

    • Debbie says:

      oh, definitely. Jackie and I were laughing the whole time. I trapped myself in the corner and had to crawl out… haha.

  3. Doreen says:

    The Staff is simply awesome! What a great idea & you can see how much the Chimps enjoyed the Fort! That hammock looked pretty cozy!

  4. Rita says:

    Jody was in balnket heaven,not surprising that Jody elected to tare down the fort and use them as her nesting blankys.. what a great idea though, the chimps were all so engaged and immersed in the fort.They obviously enjoyed themselves.As did we viewing their fun.

  5. Denice says:

    To open the freezer and have a tray of trolls staring at you is quite surprising, a little startling. Then the realization of great enrichment…. A smile comes across your face and you hope that it’s your shift to put out the frozen trolls so you can watch the fun.

  6. Marcia Douthwaite says:

    What a fun time they had. Loved the play between Foxie and Annie and the look on Foxie face. Thank you so much, Debbie.

  7. Libby says:

    What fun for chimps, humans, anyone would love a fort like that. Did Negra or Mr B come out and join the fun?

    • Debbie says:

      Negra walked underneath it a little bit while foraging for pumpkin seeds, and I didn’t actually see Burrito come over and interact with the fort but I’m sure that he explored at least enough to see if there were any leftover pumpkin seeds 🙂