Many of our chimps build nests out of the materials we give to them, such as newspaper, magazines, cardboard boxes, and burlap sacks. Two of our chimps Hazel and Pozna, are expert nest builders who can build a nest out of pretty much anything, and make it look comfy enough that even I would consider sleeping in it. In fact, I think both of these girls could win at competitive napping (if that were a thing).
Pozna builds a nest almost every day in one of the corners of the playroom and that is pretty much where she is content to stay all day, everyday. She uses newspaper, straw, pine shavings, burlap sacks, or anything else that could be remotely comfortable. It’s hard to coax her out of her nest so that we can get in the playroom to clean, every morning, and afternoon, but we can usually win her over with a sip of juice and a small treat.
Hazel loves to build her nests in the tunnels that lead from the playroom to the night room. Her material of choice is usually newspaper or brown paper bags, but she will use straw if she has to. Hazel’s nests usually aren’t quite as big as Pozna’s, but they still look like a nice place to spend some time napping the day away. She gets especially excited if she has some stuffed animals to curl up with!
In the wild, chimpanzees build nest, high up in the trees to sleep in at night. They build their nests by lacing together the branches and leaves from the trees until they form a strong platform that can hold their weight. They build them in the trees, so that they can sleep soundly without worrying about any predators (even though they have very few in the wild) that might be on the ground. Obviously, Hazel and Pozna do not have to worry about predators, so their nest building is all for the sake of comfort. Although, they do have to guard their nests closely, as Jenny has been known to take over an empty nest when she sees one!