Happy Birthday, Jessica!

August 30th, 2014 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Jessica Larson! Today also happens to be Jessica’s 30th birthday and she shared the following message:

“I honor the chimps who have taught me so much about myself and my world on this day. May they enjoy 30 plus years of happiness and health in the sanctuary.”

We often hear from people how much the chimpanzees inspire them. Even people who have not had the opportunity to meet the chimps in person often share the profound difference they bring to their lives. We are so grateful that the chimpanzees are recognized not only as the special individuals they are, but for the value and significance of what they contribute to life, in no other way than just being themselves.

Jessica, thank you so much for honoring the chimpanzees on your own special day and for your generosity and compassion of gifting them with a day of sanctuary! All of us here at CSNW wish you the happiest of birthdays!!

Jamie bright eyes

No time to rest

August 29th, 2014 by J.B.

I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve walked around Young’s Hill today. We started just after breakfast, with Jamie frantically gesturing towards the bin of boots in the kitchen, letting us know that is was time to begin the daily ritual. After exchanging one of my sneakers for a bright red cowboy boot, we set out together to patrol the perimeter of her two-acre enclosure. There was another walk before lunch, and then another just afterwards. Steph and Debbie went on a patrol with Jamie in mid-afternoon, and then I rejoined Jamie for another before dinner. As soon as dinner was over it was time to head out again for a couple more. And just a moment ago, at a little after 7pm, I handed my red cowboy boot to Diana, who will walk with Jamie as the sun starts to set. This might be the last, but somehow I doubt it.



Gettin’ the Party Started

August 28th, 2014 by Diana

Biddin‘ and Lovin’ has begun for our Summer Biddin’ online-only auction! There’s only four days for this quick and fun fundraiser that will provide money to care for the chimpanzees, so don’t delay!

We have one Producer and a few Directors for our Summer Lovin’ Party – thank you! We’re currently searching for Executive Producers and a lot more production help. Learn more in the video below and here.


Here are the top three Biddin’ items so far. Click through to get the details and place a bid:

One Week Stay at Kauai Beach Resort

Kauai Beach Resort

Thanks to donors Robert and Alisha Palmer


Chimpanzee Photo Quilt


by Lisa Dieumegard


Missy and Annie

Giclee print on canvas

Missy and Annie print

by Margaret H. Parkinson


There are so many other great items to check out right now. Foxie inspired quite a bit of art for this auction.

Surprisingly, there are no bids on the Backstage Pass to the Sanctuary yet, but we know you’re just holding out.

Negra - Backstage Pass photo


Please help spread the word about Summer’ Biddin’ and Lovin‘ by sharing with your friends via email and social media, bid high and bid often, and help us throw a spectacular end-of-summer party!

Summer Biddin' banner


Jamie’s selfies

August 27th, 2014 by Katelyn

Our day, and how smoothly things can be expected to go, is often made evident within the first few minutes of greeting the chimpanzees in the morning. Or more specifically, within the first few minutes of greeting Jamie. Like many of us, Jamie isn’t always a morning person. And she has no qualms about letting us know exactly where she stands. Or rather, where we stand. But the chimpanzees (or more specifically Jamie) have been happy and playful all day! The chimp house has been full of laughter, games of chase, wrestle and slap, and all around goofiness.

Of course, we caregivers want to bring out the cameras for such chimpanzee shenanigans. But Jamie has stringent rules about whether or not she will allow the paparazzi around, especially for close-ups. But today her good mood seemed to extend a lot of tolerance to us. She even nodded approvingly while checking out her “selfies.”


“Upside-down-Jamie-on-a-barrel” is always a welcome sight and a sure sign she’s in a particularly playful mood. She spent the majority of the morning like this:


And she was happy to keep taking “selfies.”


Chimpanzee Photography Experience & Online Auction Opening Soon

August 26th, 2014 by Diana

I mentioned the other day that some 2013 HOOT! auction bidders had cashed in their photography experience at the sanctuary that they won at the gala.

Right now, we are gearing up for our Summer Biddin’ online auction. While we don’t have a photography session, we do have a really amazing and unique experience to bid on: a Backstage Pass to the Sanctuary!

Bidding for all items opens Thursday morning, and items are still being added, but you can and should (right now) check out how you can help us throw a spectacular Summer Lovin’ Party for the chimpanzees and get some perks for yourself in the process.

Back to Saturday. Martha and Susie were the first winning bidders for the photography session. They had a great time at the sanctuary learning some new photography skills from photographers Karen Ducey and Dean Rutz. They set up photography camp on the observation deck and learned the ropes of the professional equipment that Karen and Dean generously loaned.

Martha and Susie taking aim

Martha and Susie practicing

Martha and Susie happy

And they got some really amazing photos!! Below are just a few.


Annie on young's hill


Foxie pull up

Foxie on platform


And birthday-girl Missy, looking like her athletic self:

Missy on fire hose


Not only was it Missy’s birthday on the day they visited, it was also Martha’s! Karen was kind enough to bring a birthday cake, which of course we adorned with some CSNW style:

Martha's bday cake


Martha and Susie also took a walk with J.B. around the hill with Jamie of course following on the inside of the fence. Ellie the elk was hanging around the property and joined them too:

Ellie, J.B., Martha, Susie


You just never know what adventures await at the sanctuary, especially on a party day, which is why you should get ready to bid on the unique Backstage Pass experience and help us throw a great end-of-summer party! You don’t have to wait until Thursday to make your Summer Lovin’ party donation – do it today!

Mixing it up a bit

August 25th, 2014 by Keri

Many folks have come to know the chimpanzees and their special interests. For instance, Foxie and her love of troll and dora dolls, Jamie and her love of boots and Negra and her love of nesting with a lot of blankets. Well, today, the chimpanzees decided to mix things up a bit.

Annie is usually shy in front of the camera, but not today. Here she is blowing bubbles.

Then she licked the bubbles,

and then blew more bubbles,

and even more bubbles.

Foxie, who can usually be found with a troll or dora doll had one of Burrito’s favorite toys in her mouth.

Jamie usually lets us know when we pick out the right boot she wants us to wear for walking around Young’s Hill. Today she did not seem content with just one boot. After I showed her each boot in her boot bin, she continued to stomp on the second story of the playroom floor and motion toward her bin of boots. Turns out she wanted two boots not just one!

The boots on my feet during a walk around Young’s Hill with Jamie.

Jamie with her boots after the walk around Young’s Hill.

And finally, while cleaning the Playroom, we discovered an unusually large nest of blankets in Negra’s favorite nesting spot. Thinking that it was a little bit on the large side, we decided to count the number of blankets and found that she had made her nest with 31 blankets!! Throughout the course of a day, we place a total of 60 blankets in the Playroom, Greenhouse and Front Rooms, so a 31 blanket nest is quite large and probably quite comfortable. I wonder how many blankets she will use to build tonight’s nest. Unfortunately, I did not think to take a photo, but thought I would share that with you.

Choosing a Companion

August 24th, 2014 by Elizabeth

Each day we put out a variety of enrichment for the chimpanzees to play with. This is usually some assortment of toys, socks, scarves, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, scrub brushes, buckets, paper, stuffed animals, and anything else we think the chimps might enjoy. There are two types of items that we absolutely must include with each day’s enrichment: boots for Jamie and dolls for Foxie.

This morning Foxie spent a few minutes in front of a pile of dolls in the playroom, choosing which one(s) she should carry around for the day.




Foxie frequently uses the bite test to assess a doll’s worthiness:




In the end, she chose all three dolls, and the four of them headed into the greenhouse for some rest.

Today is in memory of Lilian Corrigan

August 24th, 2014 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Janine Clark in memory of Lilian Corrigan. We are always so touched when someone is moved to provide a special day for the chimpanzees in memory of a loved one or special being in their life. It’s such a beautiful way to honor that individual’s life and send it forward to make the lives of others better.

Janine, thank you so much for thinking of the chimpanzees today and including them in Lilian’s memory!

web Negra sit tall green grass look toward camera Young's Hill YH IMG_8008

Missy Chimpanzee’s 39th Birthday

August 23rd, 2014 by Diana

Today was Missy-centered. The theme was tomatoes, slinky toys, tomatoes, socks, tomatoes, cattails, tomatoes, socks, and kongs with peanuts in them – all favs of Missy.

At our HOOT! gala in May, one of the more interesting items we auctioned off during the live auction was a photography session at the sanctuary with professional photographers Dean Rutz and Karen Ducey. There were two lucky winning bidders, and one of the winners cashed in their session this morning – we can’t wait to share a few of their photos with you!

In the meantime, here are some that the staff took today of the birthday girl, a flashback to one of my favorite videos of Missy, and a few photos of the other chimpanzees enjoying Missy’s birthday.

Missy spent the day, as usual, in action and elusive to the camera.

In the photo below, Missy is climbing one of the tallest structures on the hill during the breakfast forage, which included a lot of – you guessed it – tomatoes!

Missy climbing


Here she is at the top with a mouthful:

Missy behind post


Later, we handed out cattails. Missy decided to take hers inside:

MIssy biting cattail


Missy escaping the watchful eye of the camera, climbing to the bridge in the playroom to enjoy her cattail:

Missy climbing stairs


Missy in a nest playing with a slinky on the catwalk of the playroom:

Missy with a slinky


MIssy removing a kong from a sock:

Missy sit window kong sock

Missy sit window with kong


We put the kongs in socks for the nighttime enrichment in homage to Missy’s own invention, and one of my favorite videos of Missy, taken in 2010 (see below):


The other chimpanzees also had a great time with all of the birthday festivities today.

Jamie explored some new enrichment in the greenhouse:

Jamie with recorder


Jamie cleaning some plastic glasses with a sock:

Jamie with glasses


Negra foraged on the hill for breakfast:

Negra forage on the hill

Negra with a strawberry

Negra with chow


And Annie, proudly, got the tomato piñata during the playroom forage:

Annie with pinata


I posted a little video on Facebook of Missy playing what looks a lot like a thumb war with Negra while they lay next to each other on the catwalk. All in all, it was a pretty great 39th birthday for one of the most athletic, full-of-life chimpanzee people that I’ve ever met. We love you, Missy!

Missy's birthday portrait

Time on the hill

August 22nd, 2014 by J.B.

The chimps are enjoying their forages on Young’s Hill so much more now that it’s cooled down a bit.



This morning, Annie was searching high and low for something in particular. Turns out it was the primate chow she was after.




Jamie almost always smells her food before putting it her mouth. A chimpanzee’s sense of smell is not much different than our own, so this is more of a personality quirk of Jamie’s than a species-typical behavior. We jokingly say that she must think we’re trying to poison her, because she always looks so suspicious when she does it.




When Burrito is in a fight, he demonstrates an unbelievable combination of speed and athleticism. He can jump from the second story of the playroom down to the first, land on the concrete floor, and then take off running without skipping a beat. He’ll leap across the greenhouse and catch himself with one hand. But for some reason, when he’s not fighting he’s capable of tripping over his own feet.



Last night we had the pleasure of hanging out with Jamie past sunset. Most of the chimps voluntarily go to bed around 5:30, just after we serve dinner. This is just as true in the winter when the sun goes down at 4:30 as it is in the summer when it stays light until 10:00. As soon as they finish their after dinner food puzzles, they start collecting blankets to make their nests around the playroom. But summer nights in Cle Elum are beautiful, and Jamie sometimes wants her caregivers to stay out with her for a few extra walks. This was the last of Jamie’s four after dinner walks around the hill, just before 8:00. When she decided she was done for the day, she gathered her cowboy boots and a pile of blankets and headed for the playroom.