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.

Burrito:

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.

Nice Day for a Walk

January 15th, 2018 by Kelsi

When I arrived at CSNW this morning I was greeted by a nice long kiss by Jamie and breathy pants from the chimps. Jamie gestured for me to put a boot on and she broke into a game of chase. Jamie lead me outside to the greenhouse, where she ran up to door Y and insisted I open it so we could finish our game of chase on Young’s Hill. However, we close off the Hill at night for the chimps and before I can open any door there are checks that I have to do. But, trust me – I got her out there in good time! Today was a pretty mild winter day (which might explain some good moods this morning) and the chimps took full advantage of it. Jamie and Missy spent most of their day on Young’s Hill, and who could blame them! Jamie especially was loving this warmer winter weather! Jamie and I played games of chase inside, games of chase outside, we did countless walks, and spent sometime just sitting outside. Because we were outside for most of the day I was only able to capture a few photos.

Jamie eating some broccoli in her nest:

Missy taking a short break:

Jamie admiring her boots:

Jamie tucked her boots safely in her pelvic pocket; shortly afterwards she gave me those boots to go walk with her:

 

How Many Chimps Do You See?

January 14th, 2018 by Kelsi

How many chimps are in this picture? Can you name them? Ready… Go!

Bonus photos!

Annie sitting on top of the Twister:

Foxie:

Missy eating snow:

Burrito taking a stroll with the ladies:

Jamie ready for a walk and Missy following behind:

Jody was on a mission (probably to find snow):

Jody and Foxie:

While everyone was outside Negra grabbed a bunch of blankets and took a nap:

Later, Jamie went out and sat on the Twister for a while:

Happy Birthday, Adrienne!

January 14th, 2018 by Katelyn

Eric Beckley sponsored a day of sanctuary in honor of Adrienne DiCerbo with this lovely message:

“For Adrienne on her Birthday. From Eric and Leo. She briefly volunteered at your sanctuary and loves all your chimps, especially when they are playing, eating, and loving each other.”

Eric thank you for choosing such a kind and compassionate gift for Adrienne and the chimps!

And Adrienne, we so appreciate you sharing your birthday with the chimps and continuing to help ensure that all the chimps’ days are filled with joy, good food to grunt and squeak about, and so much love. We hope it’s the best birthday yet!

Happy Birthday from all of us at CSNW!

A Jamie and Foxie pretzel:

Jamie and Foxie in a Chimpanzee Pretzel

Trying new things

January 13th, 2018 by Diana

The other day, after the PRT session that Elizabeth filmed, Jamie and I followed a typical post-PRT routine. Because I had spent the last fifteen minutes requesting that she do things, it was her turn to request that I do something (I’m pretty sure that Jamie believes it is ALWAYS time for the humans to do something for her, but I digress). So I put on her latest favorite pair of boots, we did a perimeter walk, and afterward we settled in for a grooming session in the greenhouse.

Jamie is easily the most dexterous chimpanzee I’ve ever known, and she’s a master at using tools. Her fine-motor ability is really quite impressive. Just watch this video of Jamie giving J.B. a “manicure” and read this story about her tool-altering skills and forethought.

It was just Jamie in the greenhouse, grooming my fingers and the boots, when Annie came over with a tool of her own.

 

For the first several years of Annie’s sanctuary life, she didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the humans – not because she wasn’t interested in us, but, I think, because she was a ball of anxiety, and she didn’t want to over-step her place in the social world of chimpanzees and humans. We have written many times on the blog about Annie’s ever-growing confidence in the last few years (for example, this touching post from Elizabeth).

 

We’ve witnessed all of the chimpanzees trying new things over the last nine+ years at the sanctuary. We’ve gotten to know them so well that when they do something new, it stands out. You may already be familiar with “Fake Neggie” – a nickname for Missy when she is adopting Negra’s quintessential blanket-over-head nesting style.

 

You may not know that there was a time a few years ago when Negra decided troll dolls were her thing too, carrying one with her from bed to meals to adventures on Young’s Hill.

It lasted for a few weeks, then the fad seemed to pass for Negra and she’s been mostly troll-less ever since, leaving the doll obsession to Foxie.

 

Jody is sometimes seen with troll dolls, and Annie tries them out once in a while too.

 

Imitation is an important part of observing and learning. J.B. wrote a blog post back in 2012 about how copying the behavior of others shouldn’t be dismissed as somehow intellectually unimpressive. It’s worth the read.

 

When Annie confidently walked towards me with her rather blunt tool and pushed it out through the caging to groom the boot I was wearing, my smile could not have been any bigger. She was clumsy and awkward with the over-sized tool she had chosen, but she gave it a go, even with boss Jamie sitting right there to watch.

 

Annie didn’t stay long, and I don’t think she had any kind of magical insight about why Jamie spends so much time engaging in this behavior.

 

To have an interesting and full life and to get a better idea of who you are, you have to try new things – even things you aren’t sure you will be good at doing. Annie seems to know this now. She’s 100% signed up for this sanctuary life, and I have no doubt she and her chimpanzee companions will continue to try new things, figuring out more about themselves and delighting and surprising us along the way.

 

Good morning, Neggie!

January 12th, 2018 by J.B.

Mornings are generally a rambunctious time at the sanctuary, but if we’re lucky, Burrito will hold off on his dominance displays long enough for us to say a quiet “good morning” to the group. We use the chimps’ language as much as possible, which means we greet them with breathy panting, soft grunts, and head bobbing. Negra is usually the last to get out of bed, and her sleepy greetings are a perfect way to start the day.

Positive Reinforcement Training progress

January 11th, 2018 by Elizabeth

We’re still plugging away at our Positive Reinforcement Training program and the chimps continue to make strides everyday.

January mornings

January 10th, 2018 by Anna

This morning, Jody led Foxie and Burrito on the first perimeter walk of the day!

The sun was out, but a slight breeze made for a very brisk walk.

The Cle Elum 7 love snow, so no matter how chilly they might feel, they still like to collect an icy snack to take inside with them. Jody is no different!