Tool Use in Chimpanzees

For decades we have known that wild chimpanzees use tools in hundreds of ways, including but not limited to termite fishing, using leaves as sponges, and cracking open hard fruits using stone anvils. The video here of chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle shows a variety of applications of tool use in chimpanzees.

Tool use is a cognitively demanding behaviour. There are often several steps involved in this process: acquiring the raw materials to use as a tool, modifying the tool, and then putting it to use.

Encouraging Tool Use in Chimpanzees through Enrichment

One of our goals at Fauna is to encourage species-typical behaviours such as tool use that keep the chimpanzees’ minds sharp and engaged with their surroundings and encourage problem solving. We make food puzzles out of PVC pieces which ilicits tool use behaviour. Below, Loulis makes a tool out of a straw to remove peanut butter from a PVC pipe.

You Can Help!

We are always looking for donations to help purchase these types of enrichment materials for the chimpanzees and monkeys. If you would like to help, consider donating or send us gift cards from BMR, Reno Depot or Home Depot. You can find our address on our contact page.