Chow Time!

Chow Time!

Halfway through my internship, and I have gained the privilege to feed primate chow nutritional biscuits to all the Chimps! It seems like a very small thing, but it’s really quite rewarding; it’s a chance to get their attention and interact with them in a way that they deem important. It strengthens the relationship; them looking at me, patiently waiting for the next piece of chow to come through the mesh where they take it gingerly with their deft lips. It is immensely gratifying. I love the noises Emma makes; cute, happy little grunts. Jackson always seems to be out of sight but comes loping along when we call his name and tell him it’s time for chow. So far CJ hasn’t spit on me while giving her chow, but it’s only been a few times and I’ve been supervised each time so far, so once I can independently do it, we will see if her attitude changes.

Topo’s lips quiver slightly when I pass him the chow, and somehow he manages to shove all three in his mouth at a time and eat them all in one bite, with the help of a nearby water supply of course. Thiele never hesitates and is always ready for food! Patti is so sweet but always asks for more right after you give something to her. And Herbie, despite his tantrums and banging on the wire after giving him the last chow supplement, is a very patient boy; him being the dominant chimpanzee in his group, he always has to wait the longest. I have a little more than three weeks left of my internship, and I know I’m really going to miss this bunch of goofballs when it’s time to leave.


Natalie O., Intern


Photo credit: Will Saunders