The Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute was constructed with chimpanzees in mind and provided this family of chimpanzees with an environment which allowed them to run, climb, and enjoy the sunshine. The chimpanzees lived in an intellectually interesting environment.
Some of the permanent features incorporated into their environment included:
Concrete Treat Mound
The treat mound allowed for food enrichment to be placed in this permanent structure and allowed the chimpanzees to creatively fish or dip for food in a way that is similar to the behavior of free-living chimpanzees as they fish for termites in a forest environment. The chimpanzees had to fashion tools (sticks & grass) in order to access the food in the treat mound.
Tree Climbing Structure
This structure was built to simulate the movement of a living tree. It moved and shook when the chimpanzees climbed on it. It also gave the chimpanzees another place to sit up high.
A secluded area in the enclosure which was out of observers' view. The cave provided an area in which the chimpanzees could escape observation. This allowed for the chimpanzees' privacy.
Platforms & Terraces
The CHCI facility was planned and designed with the physical needs of the chimpanzees in mind. The interiors included several platforms and terraces that could be accessed by the chimpanzees.
On the walls of the East and West Playrooms we had depicted a farm and pond scene, a savanna scene, and familiar objects such as an apple, key, and a brush. These scenes made the indoor environments more visually interesting and provided additional elements to sign about.