Tea Party

This is how to first make chimpanzees very happy, then very frustrated, and finally very mad. Tatu asked me to make her some tea. I thought this was a great idea considering the temperature is below freezing in Ellensburg this weekend. I wanted to challenge the chimpanzees so I made the tea in a baking pan and once it steeped I added raisins and taped it to the floor in front of the door to their enclosure. I gave them long hoses so they could get the tea. They could get at the raisins but they had to suck them up with the tea. They found this to be very difficult since the hoses were so long and they could only hold so much liquid in their mouth at once. Before I was finished taping the pan to the floor Loulis had already spit a huge mouthful of tea at me in protest and Tatu hit me over the head with the green hose repeatedly. They clearly found this challenging. Loulis gave up quickly and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas with Dar.

DSCF2906.JPGTatu continued to work for the raisins for an hour. I went in to check on her progress and she signed THAT! pointing to the pan. All of the tea was gone and there were raisins scattered on the bottom of the pan. I got a pitcher, added water to the pan, and gave her a few more tools to try. She took the tools and set them down beside her. She signed THAT, once again pointing to the pan. I signed YOU NEED TRY, YOU SMART. Tatu continued to try and get the raisins. Activities like these (food puzzles) help alleviate the monotony that occurs captivity and are ultimately entertaining, even if at times they are a bit frustrating.

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