Everyday the chimps surprise us with just how intelligent they are which can make them quite challenging to manage as they continually try to outsmart their keepers. Sometimes though it can make our job a little bit easier. When our chimp group was moved back to the newly renovated chimpanzee sanctuary, Shabani and Samaki were the very last chimps to make the move to the new facility, watching all the other chimps go and wondering what was going on. Each chimp had to be given an anaesthetic by the vet. Once they were anaesthetised they were then given a complete health check and transferred to the sanctuary. The process can be a scary one for the chimps and most chimps are quite skilled at avoiding the vets dart. When it came time for Samaki, we were expecting that he would be quite challenging. He is after all a strong, healthy 10 year old male with a big attitude. But to our surprise, when Samaki saw the vet with the dart gun, he approached the mesh and offered his thigh to dart. Once the drug had been administered, Samaki then removed the dart from his thigh and as it started to take effect the vet asked him to hand him back the dart. Samaki then collected the dart from the floor as passed it back to her through the mesh!! That’s one smart chimp!
Katie, Primate Keeper