Sounds of the Chimphouse

Oh the wonderful sounds of the Chimphouse! You might expect that it is rare to find a quiet moment in the chimphouse. However, throughout the day, the chimpanzees are producing all sorts of sounds. To get our attention, Binky blows raspberries (also known as the “Bronx cheer”), Tatu signs PERSON, and Chance smacks her lips with impressive speed. When they play with each other, they laugh, roll around and breathe heavily if they play for long enough. When they display at each other, or even us (a very natural chimpanzee behavior), they might scream and bang on the ground or launch barrels into the air. The will basically do whatever they can to make the loudest and most intimidating sounds possible!

But one of my favourite times to listen and observe is after lunch. Once they’ve had their fill of our delicious vegan lunches, the chimps tend to relax for a little while. Grooming is one popular activity in the afternoon that provides lots of relaxation. As they lay down and comb through each other’s hair for any imperfections, they clack their teeth, smack their lips, or blow raspberries. When I hear these sounds, I always think of friendly kisses on the cheek, or someone knocking on your door.

Sounds of the Chimphouse:  Delicious Food

Of course, there are the many chewing, crunching and chomping sounds as well! One afternoon, I spotted Regis chomping on some carrots using an interesting technique… completely hands-free. Watch the video up top!

The chimps truly are relaxation experts. I feel that we have a lot that we can learn from them in this time of quarantine: find new ways to keep yourself busy, always be comfortable, and spend time with those you care for (at a safe distance of course)!

Story by Matt de Vries, Animal Caregiver

Please consider buying some crunchy fruits and veggies for the chimpanzees!

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