It was a very exciting morning for the Chimpanzee community at Taronga Zoo today. Keepers put giant Christmas bon bons and a array of different sized presents in the sanctuary. Liz Hind from the Behavioural science unit worked closely with Chimpanzee keepers Lou Grossfeldt and Suzie Lemon to create the exciting surprises for the chimp group to enjoy. The bon bons and presents were made out of cardboard and paper and then decorated with non-toxic water-soluble paints. The made 8 bon bons and 10 boxes for the group of 19, each of which contained a variety of exciting things. In each bon bon or present were some small treats including chopped carrot and sweet potato, small boxes of freshly made popcorn, and a mix of peanuts and sultanas. The boxes and bon bons were also stuffed with shredded paper to make it even more exciting and challenging for the chimps. The keepers are always inventing and creating different things for the animals, to make each day exciting, and to encourage them to use their remarkable skills. The highlight of the morning was seeing little Fumo, the 14 month old infant, carrying around a Christmas bon bon that was twice his size and then playing in an empty box... what a cutie!!
Primate keeper, Suzie.