Chimps Cracking Coconuts

Last week the chimps each received their own coconut. While some of the chimps determined that breaking through that hard shell just wasn’t worth the effort, a few of them were determined to get the tasty treat inside. CJ was […]

Fun with the Hose

Patti got my attention the other day by making loud raspberries as I walked past. As I walked over to her, she let me know she was thirsty by signing “drink” in ASL.  (To make this sign, form a horizontal “C” shape […]

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" Review

When discussing the new Planet of the Apes film, many people I spoke to seemed unsure of how I would react to it, since I have been known to strongly discourage my friends from seeing movies featuring chimpanzees. Chimps Inc […]

Playtime with Thiele

Thiele spends most of her time interacting with the other chimps, as opposed to the caregivers. She’ll give us a grunt and shake of the head to acknowledge us when we walk past but besides that she pretty much does her […]

Shoe Fever

Because they were raised around humans, many of the chimps here at Chimps Inc enjoy very humanized enrichment, such as clothes, brushes, and tools. All of the chimps here seem to have a special affinity for shoes. Luckily there are […]

Tea and Biscuits with Jackson

Each and every chimp has their own way of eating their daily primate chow biscuits. CJ tastes a small bite of each one before digging in, Herbie gets his water bottle at the ready to soften the crunchy biscuits in […]

Little Rascal Jackson

While I was doing the dishes I was entertained by some of the chimps doing their funny antics. Then I heard a noise, and of course looked up to see what it was. Well, that little rascal Jackson was swinging […]


Here at Chimps Inc, our goal is to make sure that the chimps are happy. Sometimes, when we think about all that these chimps went through in their previous lives; exploitation, cruelty, confusion, abandonment, loneliness; we are amazed at their […]

Watermelon for Topo

Whole fruits (as opposed to chopped) are a fun surprise and change of pace for the chimps. They get so excited when they see whole pineapples, cantaloupes and watermelon around the enclosures, the pant hoots are almost deafening. Topo was especially excited […]

Who Needs Juice When You’ve Got Ice?

To make sure the chimps stay cool and hydrated on these hot days, the caregivers pass out ice cold juice and water throughout the day. We were surprised to learn that putting juice or water into a cup of ice is […]

New Studies in Ape Communication

Many animal lovers, including myself, would love the opportunity to speak with animals. Any person who works with animals would probably agree that clear communication would make their jobs much easier. I often see exchanges between chimpanzees at Chimps Inc […]

Tug ‘O War

Volunteers at Chimps Inc do not have direct contact with the chimps so we have to get creative with the ways that we interact and play with the chimps. Sometimes we blow bubbles for them or chase them around the […]

Singing with the Chimps

The chimps love music and I love to sing so when working by myself I never hesitate to belt out whatever songs are stuck in my head. Yesterday I happened to have the soundtrack from Disney’s new movie “Frozen” stuck in my head […]

Herbie and Emma

Today was enhanced by simply being an observer to some playful moments that occur less frequently between Emma and adult male, Herbie.  With mouths wide open, both shared heavy breathing while tugging on each other’s fingers and toes. Although Jackson […]

Gardening Partner

Because most of the animals at Chimps Inc. were raised as or by humans, they all have a fondness for human enrichment, leftover from their pet and entertainment days. Jackson and Topo love shoes, Thiele loves nail polish, Patti loves […]

Like Us: Chimpanzee Personalities

This year, research from Georgia State University determined that chimpanzees have similar personality traits to humans and that they are structured almost identically. Researchers used questionnaires to access a chimpanzee’s personality and rated them on traits such as dominance, playfulness, […]

Blending In With Nature

How many times have you wandered around in nature and been sighted by a lynx, cougar or bobcat without notice? Many wild animals evolved to take on similar colors and patterns of their natural environment. This helpful adaptation advances their […]

Patti and the Stick Matrix

One day for enrichment, the interns put together several stick matrices for the chimps’ outdoor enclosures. This novel enrichment consisted of a plastic crate interlaced into a “matrix” with sticks, and at the bottom of the crate we placed paper […]

Thanks and Happy Birthday, Tiel!

Today, June 20, is the birthday of our most dedicated volunteer and one of my favorite people in the whole world; Tiel.  Tiel volunteers with us five days a week (and more than that if we have any special events), […]

Closing Time With Chimps

When passing out treats the other evening, the chimps reminded me of conversations that we often share with each other. Before closing the doors and turning off the lights, I follow my usual routine of wishing everyone a lovely night. […]