The Easter Bunny visited the IPPL gibbons this year. He left dozens of brightly colored hard-boiled eggs for our little apes. They were a huge hit!

Easter basket

The Easter Bunny’s helpers (a.k.a. the IPPL animal care staff) decorated a basket of colorful hard-boiled eggs with azaleas from the sanctuary property.

Of course, Mr. Bunny had help from the IPPL animal caregivers. They came along with a wheelbarrow full of hay and over three dozen eggs. Meg distributed armloads of hay with eggs hidden in each “nest.” Cheri would then sprinkle peanuts and raisins in it for added foraging fun.

Maui and the eggs

Maui discovers his and Speedy’s Easter eggs!

Our gibbons were enthralled by the eggs. Last year, we distributed hard-boiled eggs, too, but didn’t get around to dying them. They were popular, but not greeted with the same excitement as this year’s batch.


Mmmm–Peppy doesn’t mind that he has egg on his face. (Note: the pink thing in his hand is an egg, the pink thing in his mouth is his tongue!)

Some of our gibbons, like Michelle and Michael, would stretch out their arms toward the approaching wheelbarrow and shake their hands excitedly. Helen would hardly even let Meg put the hay into the enclosure in peace!

The dye was set with vinegar, and maybe that’s why many of our gibbons enjoyed licking the eggs for minutes at a time before cracking them open with their teeth.


Gus knows just what to do.

And the gibbons really liked the hay, too tossing it around (like Courtney) or even nibbling on it (like Dianne). And when our staff tried to hose the hay away a couple of days later, some gibbons, like Robbie and Helen, kept trying to grab it back.

Donny with Meg

Donny can’t wait for Meg to distribute his and E.T.’s share!

Not to be left out, our otters got some Easter eggs, too. Agape actually laid on top of her companion Satu’s blue egg while she finished her own. Then she ate his, too.

Agape and Satu's nose

It doesn’t look like Agape is going to let Satu taste his pretty blue egg at all.

Agape may have taken assertiveness training from nearby Jade; Jade only let her mate Palu-Palu enjoy her leftover scraps!

Jade and Palu

Jade (left), who is serious about her food, only permitted Palu-Palu to eat her leftover bits of egg (but Palu-Palu is used to this by now!).