Jordan Zivnuska, Animal Care Giver, Chimp Haven

Chimpanzees, being incredibly intelligent tool users, are always coming up with new ways to surprise the care staff at Chimp Haven. Tinkerbell is one of the best at keeping us on our toes, as she recently proved in a battle of wills that we’ve come to know as Tinkerbell vs. Windchime.

Chimp Haven’s enrichment team does a wonderful job of organizing a variety of daily enrichment activities for our retirees – this creative team goes above and beyond to provide toys, puzzles, and endless sources of entertainment and novelty for the chimps.

“Tink” as she is affectionately called by care-staff, is a high-ranking female in her group of eleven. She typically spends her days hanging out with her best friend, Kim, and napping in a hammock. She’s also known and loved throughout the sanctuary for her sassy personality.

Recently for enrichment, the retirees were given a selection of branches from our forested sanctuary to use as tools, toys, or however they saw fit.

The next day, enrichment staff installed wind chimes outside the habitat bedrooms for the chimps to listen to. While the retirees couldn’t touch the chimes, they were able to enjoy to the novelty of the beautiful sounds the chimes provided…or so we thought.

As care staff worked their way through the sanctuary hanging chimes, they soon noticed movement behind them. It was Tink – carefully approaching the chime with her stick from the previous day.

Staff watched as she ingeniously used her tool to “attack” the chime until it fell to the ground. Satisfied, she walked away.

We decided to give it another shot – maybe she just needed time to get used to the new sounds. Staff adjusted the chime and moved it a little farther away. But once again, when they left the bedroom area Tink used her tool to remove the offending chime. She was clearly not in the mood for music.

Weeks later, we gave it one last try. This time Tink was standing by, ready with a long plastic toy, to remove the offensive sounds outside her bedroom door. Her grudge against the chime wasn’t going anywhere.

We’re not quite sure why Tinkerbell isn’t a fan of the chimes, but we have to admit we enjoyed seeing her ingenuity, persistence, and unique personality as she took them down.

She’s enjoying her retirement her way.

Without windchimes.

 

Jordan has worked as a caregiver at Chimp Haven since 2017. Her favorite chimp is Bo because of his boisterous, loud displays and his silly side that he doesn’t show right away. She bounces with him every morning.

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