Lennie gets a habitat makeover thanks to Tito’s
We’d like to raise our glasses to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, produced in Austin at Texas’ oldest legal distillery, for making it possible for patas monkey Lennie to have a habitat makeover. Because of its generous donation, Lennie will have an additional, roomy green space that will make it easier to shift him when staff members need to clean his habitat, make modifications or provide enrichment. The two areas will be connected by a tunnel.
“Routine maintenance of Lennie’s habitat has always been a little challenging because he doesn’t like to shift to his inside bedroom, which is where he has to go to protect staff when they have to enter his habitat,” explained Brooke Chavez, executive director of Primarily Primates. “Our commitment to the animals is to have them thrive, and this new green space will feel much more open to Lennie. He won’t feel like he’s being enclosed during shifting.”
Lennie came to PPI in October 2013 after being kept as a pet. Patas, ground-dwelling monkeys, are the fasting running primate and need space to stretch their legs. Patas are found in the wild all across Central and South Africa in various types of terrain but prefer open country. This open land allows the patas to show off their speed, which can reach up to 34 mph.
At PPI, Lennie uses his strong legs and speed to run and jump from one climbing structure to the next. He is always on the move. He loves running along the side of his habitat when caretakers are nearby.
He also loves grapes and bananas and he will sort through the produce he is given to pick those out first. Since patas are terrestrial they do not have hands and fingers like chimps or other primates. When given pvs tubes or Kongs filled with treats, chimps use their fingers to dig out what they want. Lennie has found his own way to get to the snacks. He uses his hands to throw the enrichment all around until the treats fall out.
Some of Lennie’s other favorite enrichment items are basketballs, bright-colored toys and his giant caterpillar stuffed animal.