My enhanced enrichment theme was Jungle Day. It was a combination of my lack of creativity and Shona’s great thinking that led to our choice of theme day.
Once we came up with the theme, we went to work making things. I have always liked to color and it relaxes me so I went online and found pictures of animals that are commonly found in the jungle such as orangutans, gorillas, bandicoots, parrots, and frogs. I then printed them off and set to work coloring them. Once they were all done, I cut them out and glued them to construction paper. Shona and I both made paper chains (you know the ones you made as a kid to put on your Christmas tree) and those became our “vines.” I also drew, cut out, and painted several large leaves. Shona drew a picture of tiger eyes and Angela made us a flower out of cardboard and egg cartons which I then painted. Shona’s tiger eyes were put in the smaller of the two large tires, partly hidden behind my leaves. It looked very cool and very scary.
On the day of my enrichment, I came in early to help set up and to prepare the forage. I decided to use frozen bananas and, at Shannon’s suggestion, sunflower seeds. These we put together in Press ‘N Seal bags and hid throughout the East Room. The rest of the sunflower seeds that weren’t in the baggies we spread around the room, hidden in pockets and in containers.
As the chimpanzees came in, the first thing they did was tip over the tire with the tiger eyes in it. Then they went searching for the food. It appeared that Dar found all but one of the baggies and ate them. (Later, when I was up on berm, it did appear that Washoe was able to get some of the bags, though.) Tatu went around searching through everything looking for sunflower seeds. She sat for quite a while eating while I was filming. I also heard from another volunteer up on berm that Dar had a couple of the baggies and he used his lips to pull part the two halves of the Press ‘N Seal as not to tear it and spill everything out!
Overall, I think that the Chimpanzees had a good time searching to find the bags as well as the mess of sunflower seeds that were all over the East Room.