Chimp Update from Two Keepers
Hi to all our chimp fans
Well, the girls have been here for 3 weeks now, living in the Adelaide zoo surrounded by the beautiful exotic plants and the wonderful array of animal noises. It’s not that bad. They have been getting very special attention from all the wonderful primate team every day. They get all the attention they need; we place fruit, vegetables and greens throughout their enclosure. We are also hand feeding them and are giving loads of enrichment items many times a day; thanks to our wonderful devoted volunteers. Why wouldn’t they be happy!
Items include fruit iceblocks, pine cones with dried fruit and rice stuck in them, taped up boxes that have been filled up with peanuts and sultanas, buckets (we call them smear buckets) that we hang on the outside of the mesh enclosure which then the girls need to make use of the browse as a tool to retrieve the treats. We also hang coloured papers, balloons, streamers, mobiles outside the keeper’s area and they even have a TV and radio. It’s like a motel in a way.
Even though they don’t understand us too much the girls recognise us and know our voices. We spend a lot of our time just sitting and talking to them .They know that when we call them over they may get something nice.
They are settling in well to their new surroundings, but little do they know they still have a major move ahead of them again. Yes the Boys and the all off the staff from Monarto, Adelaide and our followers are waiting for the day they finally reach their destination. Not too long away now.
Will keep you informed.
The four female chimps have settled into life in quarantine at Adelaide Zoo really well. They have been adapting to new keepers, languages, food and routines without any problems. All of the primate staff have been rotating working with the girls, so that we all get a chance to get to know them before they make the trip to Monarto. We can’t wait for them to finally meet the boys in the coming weeks!
Zwala is the most playful of the four girls. I have had many games of chasey with her up and down the lock away areas! As she runs she will spin and do somersaults. Zombi sometimes joins in the game by peering around the middle slide with a play-face on and then quickly moving back, almost like a game of peek-a-boo!
Soona and Galatea have formed a friendship during the quarantine period. They often rest together outside and spend time grooming each other. This will be important for them once they arrive at Monarto.
Keepers are working hard to get the girls use to drinking from a cup so that we can medicate the girls before the big move. They have been doing really well with this. For the first time yesterday Zwala let me stroke her knuckles for a few minutes whilst she was drinking. This is part of us conditioning the girls to touch, to help us begin training once they are settled into life at Monarto.
We are so excited to finally have met the girls and for the coming weeks when the boys get too!