Chimps’ autumnal enrichment

DZG’s chimpanzees enjoyed some seasonal enrichment with autumnal fallen leaves.

chimp leaves 1As staff continue the task of clearing the 40-acre site’s pathways and enclosures of leaves, keepers decided to treat our seven chimps to some fun and games.

Section Leader, Nicola Wright, said: “We filled a large heavy duty sack with crisp, dry leaves which I mixed with raisins and then attached the bag with webbing to the outdoor climbing frame.chimp leaves 3

“Malika was the first one to investigate and pulled herself up into the bag, where she had a good root around, before Fanny and Banika appeared to have a look.

“But it was 21 year-old Banika who soon realised it would be easier to find the treats by throwing the leaves out onto the floor to sort through them that way than hunt around in the dark bag.”

With hundreds of native tree species on site, including English oak, beech and field maple, there’s always piles of leaves that need to be constantly swept up at this time of year.

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Our gardening team maintain the 2.2km of roads and pathways, while keepers tidy the enclosures, moats and animal pools.

Gardener Anthony Gwilt, said: “From September to late December leaf collecting is a never ending task for our team and we fill trailer loads with them every week.

“The leaves that aren’t used for animal enrichment activities, or for our own composting, we send off for recycling with our animal manure and it’s turned into a very fine soil improver.”

See the chimps discover their autumnal enrichment in the video below…