Our chimpanzees had their hands on their hearts and their hearts in their mouths this morning at Regenstein Center for African Apes. Keepers created sugar-free JELL-O hearts for the troop as special Valentine’s Day enrichment!
Much like people, great apes are vulnerable to heart disease. As such, Lincoln Park Zoo’s animal care and veterinary experts routinely monitor their cardiac health. All chimps at the zoo have remote EKG devices that enable veterinarians to record their hearts’ cardiac activity.
Our chimpanzees voluntarily participate in positive operant conditioning training sessions with keepers to assist with these routine checkups. Through these sessions, chimps learn to present their chests for cardiac monitoring, taking on a role in their own care while allowing animal care staff to stay on top of their heart health!