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Gibbon & Siamang Enrichment
Juice Block, Feeder Mop and Stuffed Banana
Holes that were drilled in a banana tree were stuffed with sweet potato, oranges, carrots, monkey chow and leaf-eater biscuits. The sweet potato, an unusual treat, was the first to be consumed.
The gibbon family spent over 3 hours foraging and then playing with the leaves, as well as eating them, when the food treats were gone.
A mop head was strung with fruit loops on individual strings and hung in the white-handed gibbon exhibit, to encourage foraging. Japan is shown here unstringing the fruit loops.
Micah, the youngster, is shown here hugging the mop. After the fruit loops were gone, he monopolized the mop. Micah spent the next 5 hours playing with it , by swinging on it, biting it, sitting on it and wrestling with it.
On a different day, a one gallon juice block, with mixed fruit pieces frozen into it , was hung in their exhibit. The parents, Japan and Sandy, along with little Micah, spent over 3 hours licking the block and picking the fruit out it as the block melted. When the block was almost gone, Micah used the rope and remnant as a toy.
To encourage foraging, a one gallon juice block with carrot pieces and mixed fruit frozen inside was hung in the Siamang exhibit. Of the two siamangs, only Mahina licked at the block and picked fruit out of it. The second siamang, Ernestine showed no interest in the block, which hung there for over 3 hours.
On a different day, holes were drilled into the stalk of a banana tree and filled with pieces of carrots and apples. Mahina asserted her position at the top and middle of the stalk with Ernestine relegated to the lower portion for most of the time.
The apple pieces were eaten first. Both Ernestine and Mahina enjoyed foraging for the treats for about 4 hours, interspersed with occasional brachiating, loud vocalizing and mutual grooming sessions. It was a very successful enrichment activity for the siamangs.