Tuesday, October 25, will mark adorable Aisha’s third birthday! We’re planning on some special enrichment for the “birthday girl” and her friends and family—so be sure to check out the fun on Ape Cam during the day.
The past year has seen big changes with Aisha. She is more independent, eating more, and interacting more with everyone in the exhibit. Aisha currently weighs 20 pounds. This time last year she weighed 12 pounds.
Our girl may be petite, but she is very active. Just this past month, she left her mom at the far side of the exhibit and came all the way to the toss area by herself. She came down to the ground and got food without her mom around—very brave! She will typically go back up the climbing structure if another animal comes near her, but on occasion she’s stayed near the ground and munched food right next to the siamangs. She is just like her mom, though, and will not let go of the ropes–she hangs by her toes and grabs food but she will not sit on the ground.
Recently, she was seen using the termite mound for the first time. She grabbed a stick and put it in the mound and when she pulled it out, it was covered in applesauce! Her hard work was rewarded.
She is entering the ‘troublemaker toddle’ stage. Recently, she grabbed and pulled on Satu’s dreadlocks! But the big guy stayed very calm and didn’t react. Before this, she would run to her mom any time Satu came in her direction. She pulls on Karen’s hair, too. Everyone is very tolerant of her—all primate kids are ‘spoiled’! I’m waiting for her to start harassing the siamangs to pay them back for pulling on her hair when she was a baby.
We continue to train Aisha for husbandry behaviors and she is very engaged in her training. She likes the one-on-one keeper interaction—and of course, we deeply enjoy the special time with her!
Tanya Howard is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous blog, Remembering Janey.