It’s party time in the chimp house today as it’s Mandy’s 40th birthday!
And for her big day, primate keepers surprised all seven girls to an enrichment gift inside their indoor den, bursting with delicious tastes, smells and interesting objects, that entertained the group for hours!
Made out of papier mâché, cardboard boxes and plastic pipe, the enrichment puzzle, replicated a termite mound and was filled with jam, chopped apricots, baby food, raisins, baobab and pumpkin seeds and popcorn.
Senior Keeper, Jodie Dryden, said: “Chimps would naturally come across termite mounds in the wild and would take them apart to get to the termites inside.
“They’d also use sticks as tools to poke into the termite holes and scrape the termites out that way.
“We can’t provide the termites, so we filled it with tasty treat foods instead and the girls loved it and behaved exactly like they would in the wild, by fishing the food out of the holes, instead of simply ripping it to pieces straight away.”
As well as the food, keepers also hid blankets inside the mound, which the girls didn’t discover until they had ripped it open, after devouring all the treats.
Blankets are a favourite of chimpanzees, who make up all kinds of games with them, as well as using them as extra comfy nesting at bedtime.
Watch Mandy and the rest of her tribe discover her birthday surprise in the video below!