Captive, bored chimp fogs up window and draws to entertain himself

Bored chimp entertains himself by fogging up window to his enclosure and drawing on it
Bored chimp entertains himself by fogging up window to his enclosure and drawing on it. Screenshot.

The video shows a chimpanzee using his intelligence to gently blow moist air from his lungs onto a glass window which is part of his enclosure with the object of drawing on the fogged-up window. He is entertaining himself.

And watching him do this and seeing what I presume is his partner behind him curled up on straw, I have an overwhelming feeling that these chimpanzees are bored. The feeling that their enclosure is too sterile even though you can see some toys hanging from the ceiling. Behind those toys and to the left is a concrete wall. It appears to be an entirely artificial environment.

I’m guessing that the window is for people to look into. I don’t know whether this is a zoo or a research facility. But what I do know, after a bit of research, is that boredom in captivity can lead to depression in chimpanzees (common sense I’d say). I also know that, in the wild, a chimpanzee troop of between 25-18 individuals have a home range between 18-21 km² in a forest when the live in the savannah their home range varies between 100-200 km². The home range of groups overlap. Compare that size with this enclosure.

It’s clear to me that when chimpanzees are kept captive in biomedical research facilities their enclosures are far too small and too sterile. This chimpanzee is entertaining himself because there is not enough stuff in his enclosure to entertain him. He needs challenging.

He’s doing something which humans would do. Chimpanzees resemble humans in many ways such as facial expressions and problem solving.

According to Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, chimps and humans share 99% of the DNA. I don’t know about you but knowing how close chimpanzees are to humans it staggers me that we can imprison them like this and gawp at them through glass windows.

Why can’t we just leave them alone to live out their lives with their freedoms? We expect to be left alone. We treasure our freedoms and our democracy in those countries where there is democracy. People fight for their freedom. Many people die for that objective and yet we take it all away from chimpanzees and other animals without a second thought.

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