Enhanced Enrichment – Kevin Bacon NASCAR Day

Our enhanced enrichment day introduced the chimpanzees to the world of Kevin Bacon… and NASCAR.

Some may ask, “What is the connection between Kevin Bacon and NASCAR?” Well, it is a controversial theory that all people, and, perhaps, all things, in the known universe can be connected to Kevin Bacon by six degrees of separation. When brainstorming ideas for our day, we found this common theme among our apparently disparate imaginings: Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon was the magnetic force of nature that brought all of our other ideas together – for whom else has the power to connect (in six degrees or less) Abraham Lincoln and lawn gnomes or Twinkies and Twiggy??

dscf3780.jpgFirst let’s determine how Kevin Bacon is connected to our three chimpanzee friends:
          1) Kevin Bacon has appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
          2) Jon Stewart has also interviewed Jane Goodall on his show.
          3) Jane Goodall has visited CHCI and met Tatu, Dar, and Loulis
Thus, the chimpanzees are connected to Kevin Bacon by just 3 degrees of separation!

dscf3785.jpgNext, let’s discuss the execution of this theme. In order to make Kevin Bacon Day a reality, we constructed three miniature racecars – one for each of the chimpanzees. Tatu’s car was red with the number “3” painted on it in black (red and black are her two favorite colors).
dscf3778.jpgWe used a multicolored inflatable raft as the track, which led to a Kevin Bacon shrine (the allegorical gold at the end of the rainbow). The shrine – a 5 foot by 5 foot autographed poster of Kevin Bacon – was guarded by a large Barbie disguised as Kyra Sedgewick, who lowered the American flag to signal that the race was on!!!

dscf3777.jpgFinally, let’s describe the actual event. Tatu seemed to thoroughly enjoy foraging for the hidden popcorn and apricot Jell-O. She ran straight to her car, ate everything in it, and then moved on!

dscf3836.jpgLoulis, in contrast, enjoyed plowing into the cars and toppling Kyra Sedgewick.
dscf3801.jpgDar preferred to hang out in the shaky tree, with one eye on the race, one eye on his magazine, and two fists full of Jell-O.
dscf3837.jpgOverall Tatu seemed quite attached to the spectacle; so much so she spent the night in the East enclosure with the Kevin Bacon shrine. All things considered, our day was quite an enriching success!


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