Happy Birthday, Don and Dor!

January 23rd, 2018 by Katelyn

Today we’re thrilled to celebrate the birthdays of two of the chimps’ and humans’ long-time friends and supporters (and twin sisters!), Donna and Doreen Hughes, who chose to honor their special day by sponsoring a day of sanctuary for the chimps!

“Doreen and I would LOVE to Sponsor A Day in honor of our birthday celebration! There is nothing more important than sharing this day with beings that matter to us! We were so lucky to visit the Cle Elum 7 this year and the wonderful people who work with them ..our birthday celebration just wouldn’t be the same without helping the chimps! Yes, we sponsor Foxie every year, but we love each and every one of the chimps! Cannot wait to see them again in 2018! While we are celebrating in the Big Apple on this day, we will also be thinking about the Cle Elum 7! Happy Birthday to us!”

Don and Dor! Happiest of days to you in the Big Apple from Foxie and all her friends (we count ourselves in that lucky mix) here in the country! We’re just so happy you were born and that we get to celebrate your special day with you both. Thank you, from our hearts, for all you do to make the world a more magical and compassionate place just by being yourselves. May your year ahead be filled with all that enchants, inspires, brings joy, and delights your hearts!

Among the sun spots

January 22nd, 2018 by Katelyn

Despite snow and storms being predicted these last couple of days, we woke to a sunny, but frosty cold day. And ALL the primates have been soaking in the light:

Jamie surveying her frozen Queendom:

She climbed around licking all the melting frost off the structures:

And just hiding out for a bit of privacy while her staff wait patiently in the wings:

Foxie among the sunspots in the greenhouse:

Beautiful Missy in a rare moment of tolerating the camera:

Annie wasn’t up for eating cold snow and decided to sit in the sun and wadge paper from her chow bag instead:

Even, unbelievably, the Queen made a run OUTSIDE for a snow snack:

Foxie grimacing from the cold on her way back to the greenhouse. In her rush to get back she dropped three of her dolls outside, but several minutes later she scurried back out to collect them and take them to warm up in the chimp house:

Cold winds couldn’t stop the boss from her duties, who figures we can always run to stay warm:

Girl Gang

January 21st, 2018 by Kelsi

Today was for the ladies. I found Negra, Jamie, Jody, Foxie, & Missy all grooming each other while we cleaned the playroom (Annie was off doing her own thing), it could not have be a better time than to sit in a line and groom each other for an hour or so. Grooming is a very important aspect in chimp behavior and these ladies made sure to get their fill today!

Negra being groomed by Jamie:

Negra and Jamie noticed my presence and stared at me while I snapped some photos:

Jamie later had Missy tell me to get lost:

Negra, Jamie, Jody, & Foxie (Missy left shortly before this):

Well, of course Burrito wasn’t to far away:


A whirlwind of years

January 20th, 2018 by Diana

Today is about time flying by and some of the great random moments in the lives of the chimpanzees over the last ten years.

I’ve started and stopped this blog so many times today that I lost count.


There were toys to clean:


Laundry to do:


Amazing interns to train:


Paper braids for evening enrichment to be made (most of which were made by the aforementioned amazing interns):



And of course walks to take. Jamie was in the running mood today, so this quick snapshot was the only halfway decent photo I was able to get on one of our day walks:


Plus a whole host of other daily activities.


And then more walks after dinner! (well after I thought I would have this blog posted).

Courtesy of the unseasonably mild weather and the lengthening days, Jamie did three more walks after her evening meal, with Missy joining her for two of them.


This year’s HOOT! gala on May 19th will celebrate ten years of the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees living the sanctuary life. TEN YEARS!

We are in the process of a website redesign right now. I’m really excited about a whole new look that highlights the great photos of the chimpanzees and hopefully makes it easy for people to be drawn in and fall in love with them. Here’s a sneak peek:

When the designers were starting to move the data over from the existing site into the new design, they ran into a snag because of the amount of content that we had in the blog. Ten years worth of photos, videos, and stories, it seems, takes up quite a bit of space.

I love that we have this diary of the chimpanzees’ days and the moments that were funny, poignant, and sometimes even mundane.

I remember being a kid and thinking that a week, or even a day (an hour?), was an excruciatingly long time to wait for something. I remember adults saying, “don’t complain – when you get older, time will fly by.”

Never were truer words uttered.

Lately, I feel like I’m in a movie montage – days pass by in seconds, and years are contained in just a minute’s worth of highlights. But then there’s this blog with all of these posts that mark real moments in time over the last several years. Moments that the chimpanzees were living to the fullest. Days that were spent with companionship, favorite foods, boots, trolls, blankets. Years that marked new additions to their home. Almost a decade of exploration into this new life they were given.


Here’s a look back on the last ten years of blog posts for January 20th (or thereabouts – we didn’t always post to the blog every single day – can you imagine!)


January 21, 2008:

not-so-shy Foxie


January 19, 2009:

Trolls: Not just for Foxie!


January 19, 2010:

Annie Upside Down



January 20, 2011:

Greenhouse play


January 21, 2012:

the snow days continue


January 20, 2013:

Floppy ears


January 20, 2014:

There’s something about Burrito


January 21, 2015:

Always a reason to play


January 20, 2016:

20 snapshots of the day


January 20, 2017:

Tool Use


And that bring us to today. Happy January 20th to everyone. Thank you for following along!


Alone Time

January 19th, 2018 by J.B.

Foxie is one of the more gregarious chimps I’ve known, but even the most social primate needs to be alone once and a while.

At CSNW, each day begins with a group activity – breakfast. When that’s done, the chimps typically head out onto the hill together. Jamie does her first patrol, Missy runs in all directions, Burrito obsessively follows whichever of the girls is cycling at the time…and eventually they head back inside together for some rest. But there’s often one straggler.

This morning, Foxie remained outside, as she often does, atop one of the towers. This is her favorite place to be alone.

I can see why this has become her spot. It’s a great place for her to bring her dolls for private games of make-believe.

Before we purchased the property next door, it was also the perfect location to covertly surveil our neighbor.

It’s a peaceful, private place. Just sit back and watch the river flow by and the cows graze.

Soon enough there will be excitement. There will be stress. There will be politics.

But for a little while, there’s just Foxie.

foxie and the landscape

Whatever the Boss Says

January 18th, 2018 by Elizabeth

Volunteer caregiver Becca swung by the sanctuary today to drop off some produce for the chimpanzees. It was supposed to be a quick visit but as soon as Jamie spotted her, she recruited her for a couple of runs (runs!) around Young’s Hill. After the perimeter runs, a grooming session in the greenhouse was in order. Jamie eventually requested that Becca hand over the boot she was wearing, so she had to hobble back to the chimp house on one foot. We’ve learned to submit to Jamie’s rule and not complain too much.

Thank you, Gabi!

January 18th, 2018 by Katelyn

Today was sponsored by Gabi Ford with the simple, but heartfelt sentiment: “I get so much enjoyment from seeing the Cle Elum 7.”

Gabi, thank you so much for your gift for the chimps and contributing so generously to their lives. I am pretty sure you speak for us all. While we are all here together to ensure the chimps receive as much as possible to thrive and flourish in their lives, it’s incredible to see what a source of hope, love, compassion, inspiration and pure joy they are for so many of us.




Missy and Annie:


Jody relaxing


Take a virtual tour of the sanctuary!

January 17th, 2018 by Anna

Get the whole picture of what the chimpanzees’ home looks like!

Happy Birthday, Adam!

January 17th, 2018 by Katelyn

Today was sponsored by Linda Webber in celebration of her son, Adam Webber’s, birthday! Adam has been a long time friend of the sanctuary and we’re happy to celebrate with him today. Linda shared this note about her gift:

“January 17th is important as it’s my son’s 49th birthday. He volunteered there a few years back, one day a month. It may have been a short time but it was he who introduced me to Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW. I’ve followed for a couple years now. It is an honor to be a part of it in a small way. Thank you so much for what you do.”

Linda, thank you so much for your compassionate gift for the chimpanzees in honor of Adam’s special day! We truly appreciate your generosity and the difference your gift makes in their lives.

Happy Birthday, Adam! We hope it’s the best one yet! Thanks for sharing your day with the chimps and your love for them.


Communicating about boots

January 16th, 2018 by Anna

On most mornings, Jamie is the first chimpanzee the lead caregiver sees when they open up the human door leading from the kitchen to the hallway in front of the chimps’ enclosures. She is often in the loft overlooking the kitchen, and she has a simple goal in mind: make sure her caregiver puts on one of her boots. Lately she has been pretty specific about which boot she wants some of us to wear, so instead of stomping and gesturing at her boot collection located in the kitchen, she sends us a more obvious message.