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Chimpanzees are highly social, and social interaction is very important to their wellbeing. The following are examples of enrichment provided by caregivers to socially stimulate and engage the chimpanzees.

A caregiver plays a mask game with Tatu

Plastic Masks

A variety of plastic masks were offered to the chimpanzees. A human enricher and/or a chimpanzee could wear a mask to engage in a mask game.

Looking at Picture Books or Magazines

The enricher could show the chimpanzee picture books through fencing or glass. The enricher could also place these objects in the enclosure or give them to the chimpanzees while interacting. Enrichers could also hold a book or magazine and allow the chimpanzees to turn the pages.

Bags and Purses

The human enricher would fill a bag with various objects of interest while out of sight of the chimpanzees. The objects could be wrapped in paper sacks, clothes, or smaller purses. The enricher then approached the chimpanzee enclosure while carrying the bag. If the chimpanzees showed interest in the bag, they pointed to various objects for the enricher to open. Objects could then be used to interact with the chimpanzees.


A human enricher could show the chimpanzees how to apply make-up, and could then apply the make-up to the chimpanzee's face. The enricher could hold a glass mirror, or give a plastic mirror, to the chimpanzees. Enrichers tended to limit the amount of make-up offered to the chimpanzees, as the chimpanzees at CHCI would sometimes eat it.

Drawing, Coloring, and Painting

An enricher would place paper and drawing utensils like crayons and chalk in the chimpanzees' enclosure. The enricher could also have similar materials outside of the enclosure. The enricher then interacted with the chimpanzees by allowing them to watch him/her draw, sharing materials with the chimpanzees, or encouraging the chimpanzee to draw. Like make-up, art materials can also make a tasty treat, so quantities were limited.

Dar interacts with a caregiver through the glass


The enricher offered the chimpanzee painting supplies. Paints could be kept outside the enclosure within the reach of a particular brush. Paper and paint brushes could be given to the chimpanzee. Variety could be added by presenting different colors of paper and non-toxic paints. Also, various sizes of brushes can provide the chimpanzee with options. The chimpanzees at CHCI would sometimes eat the paint, therefore, enrichers limited the amount of paint they give the chimpanzees.

Tug of War

The human enricher threaded a piece of hose through the caging into the chimpanzee enclosure. The human could make chimpanzee play faces and encourage the chimpanzee to tug on the hose. The human tugged on the hose outside of the caging or used the end of the hose to tickle the chimpanzee. The enricher would be prepared to let go of the hose if they were too close to the caging.


The human enricher ran back and forth along the chimpanzees' caging or glass observation area during a play interaction. Play faces, foot stomps, and play walk were also part of this interaction.


The human enricher used the brush or comb to brush the chimpanzees' hair while they pressed against the fence. Grooming is a very common and important bonding/social activity in primates.

Loulis tickles a caregiver's feet through the glass

Blowing Bubbles

The human enricher blew bubbles through the caging into the chimpanzee enclosure or just blew bubbles in view of the chimpanzees.

Hot Drinks

During cleaning, the chimpanzees often asked for hot drinks. These were supplied by giving them drinks from the cleaning hose.


The human enricher used a hose or plastic toy to tickle a chimpanzee through the caging.

Hidden Treats

While the chimpanzees were watching, a human enricher hid treats outside the chimpanzee enclosure. The enricher then left the area. The chimpanzees would direct other enrichers to where the treats are hidden.


The human enricher could play peek-a-boo by hiding their face behind their hands, magazines, or clothes. The enricher could give the chimpanzee magazines or clothes to hide behind as well.

Play Dough

The human enricher could show the chimpanzees how to use the containers and cookie cutters to shape the dough. Then they gave the chimpanzees some dough to manipulate. Another potential tasty treat to the chimpanzees, enrichers limited the amount of play dough given to the chimpanzees.

A Caregiver  interacts with Tatu through the fencing outdoors

Learn about Tatu & Loulis's home at Fauna Foundation's website!