Thanksgiving 2008

Bird Meat Day was a festive and joyous occasion for all the primates of CHCI again this year. Lisa Schuster Lyons and others spent most of the day cooking a three-course feast. The chimpanzees were in a playful mood as they groomed, relaxed, and watched the caregivers cooking in the kitchen. The kitchen door stayed open all afternoon so the wonderful smells of Thanksgiving could waft into the chimpanzees’ enclosures. When dinnertime finally arrived, the chimpanzees quickly came into the night enclosure area, where they excitedly began their first course: a sparkling cider and nut forage. Anne Johnson and Robin Potosky served the meal. They offered crackers as usual but, not surprisingly, the chimpanzees declined their offer and held out for all the good stuff to come. Their main course included all the Thanksgiving standards:  turkey (a.k.a. bird meat), stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, cranberry sauce, and rolls. Tatu, Dar, and Loulis contentedly enjoyed multiple helpings of everything, especially their favorites. Tatu ate plenty of bird meat, Dar particularly enjoyed the rolls, and Loulis loved the cranberry sauce. Eventually, everyone was nearly full so they passed back their bowls. The time had come for their third and final course–dessert. Everyone enjoyed a cup of soy milk followed by pumpkin pie. By this point, the chimpanzees seemed to be experiencing that contented post-dinner torpor we all feel after a big, delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Thus, it was time for clean-up followed by blankets, nighttime enrichment and toothbrushes. Having brushed their teeth and collected their blankets for nesting, Tatu, Dar, and Loulis were ready to settle down and sleep for the night. Just as we human primates enjoy good food and time with our friends and family on Thanksgiving day each year, so do the chimpanzees at CHCI. Bird Meat Day is always marked by not only a delicious feast, but also a festive, playful atmosphere for all the primates at CHCI. This year was no different.

Thanksgiving Dinner

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