Always looking out for the chimpanzees’ health, we decided to try a new “cracker”, the biscuit we serve that is a source of protein and vitamins. The new one is lower in sugar. The chimpanzees’ first impression was not particularly positive. I asked the tech on duty if any of the humans had tasted the new crackers yet. No one had, so I took a bite. Hmmmm, not as tasty as the other ones…not surprising since they are healthier.
I was very fortunate to serve lunch that day, so I carried out all the crackers, three containers, and set them down in front of Dar. I picked up one of the new crackers and asked him YOU WANT THESE? He gave a me a look that I interpreted as “You first.”
Well I always say, if we ask the chimpanzees to try something new, I should be willing to do the same. I picked up a cracker and took a bite in front of Dar. His eyes got wide (I think I surprised him) and he watched me chew. But still he wasn’t impressed and asked for his usual.
I walked over to Tatu and asked her YOU WANT NEW CRACKER? I showed her the one I was eating and took another bite. She watched intently as I continued to eat, occasionally asking to smell my breath. When I was done chewing, I offered her one of the crackers. She very politely took it, smelled it and took a small bite. I offered her more and she took another one. I later found both of them uneaten. Well, at least she tried it.