Looking for adventure

February 27th, 2015 by J.B.

Missy was stuck in high gear today.

She tried joining Jamie on her walks but the walks were too slow, so she ran.


Eventually she gave up on Jamie altogether and just starting running around the hill by herself in the rain.


When the sun came out, all of the other chimps emerged from the greenhouse to spend time on the hill. She tried enticing Foxie to play by stealing one of her dolls, but Foxie wasn’t rambunctious enough.


She tried getting Jody to chase her, but Jody couldn’t keep up.


Missy is like an electron, orbiting around the other chimps as if they were standing still. But once and a while, she comes to a stop and starts looking around…


…looking for something that will give her an adrenaline fix.


And when she finds it, she can hardly contain her excitement.


Look at that smile on her face.




In remembrance of Pat Trotta

February 27th, 2015 by J.B.

This day of sanctuary was also sponsored in remembrance of Pat Trotta by a wonderful friend of the Cle Elum Seven, Wanda Trotta, and her family:

“A day in remembrance of Pat Trotta who when we visited the “7” a couple of years ago was also taken by them.  He, like Jamie, was a leader –  in his field of optics. He leaves an enormous hole in our lives but fills our hearts with a 1/0 of love.  Enjoy being whole again, Pat and we’ll see you soon.

We love you 1/0, The Trottas”

We’re so glad that the chimps touched your lives, and honored that you chose to remember Pat in this way. In memory of Pat, here’s Jamie, as she so often does, leading her family on a walk around Young’s Hill:


In memory of Lois Young

February 27th, 2015 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored in memory of Lois Young by her family. Lois is the grandmother of staff caregiver, Debbie, and she passed away last month at the age of 94. Lois’s family kindly requested that donations be made to local organizations, to include Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, in her memory and they shared this message about her fascinating life:

“Lois Young was a descendant of one of Kittitas Valley’s pioneer families and was a nearly lifelong resident of the area. She had a tenacious spirit and accomplished many things in her life, including attending college as a woman during the Great Depression and graduating with a degree in chemistry. She loved to travel, and despite the fact that she lived with muscle paralysis since the 1970s, she still managed to visit all 50 states as well as Canada and Mexico. She was an active volunteer in several projects in the community, including the historical museum and the public library. 

Lois was always an animal lover and her compassion was passed through the generations to her granddaughter, Debbie. She was always very proud of the work Debbie is involved in and had pictures of the chimps on her wall.”

Debbie serving Missy and Jamie oranges:

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Debbie’s boss, Jamie:


To the Young-Ness, Metzler, and Moncrief families, we are so touched that you would include the chimpanzees in honoring Lois’s extraordinary life. We send you all our deepest sympathy for your loss and wish you comfort and peace as you celebrate your wonderful memories of her.

The Blanket Fling

February 26th, 2015 by Elizabeth

Burrito has a patented play move that is legitimately impossible to resist – we call it the blanket fling. He most often uses it when he’s trying to initiate play with a caregiver. The closest English translation I can come up with is “Heeeyyyyyy! Let’s get crazy!!” And get crazy we do.












A complicated relationship

February 25th, 2015 by Katelyn

Foxie has a complicated relationship with her dolls. As most of you know, Foxie is rarely without one (or two or three). It can be very emotionally appealing to see Foxie exhibit maternal behaviors with her Doras and trolls, particularly when you learn of the five babies she had stolen from her while in the lab, as Debbie shared yesterday. There is no doubt that Foxie receives comfort from her dolls, but at times she also seemingly uses them to express her frustration.

As much as we see her kiss them, carry them on her back as a mother chimpanzee would do with her children, or become distressed when they are out of her reach, we also see her spend significant amounts of time giving them a good wallop. Foxie is very intense during these times and typically uses a tool to rapidly and repeatedly strike against the dolls. It’s very loud and many of the tools she uses get broken as a result. When she is engaging in this behavior she is very focused and isn’t often interested in much else that may be going on around her.

Notice the toy screwdriver in her left hand and the intense look on her face:






Foxie often remains serious and a bit distant for some time after these stormy displays:




But then the clouds pass and you see the “Foxie light” return in her eyes. While this is really outside the realm of what we have learned about chimpanzee behavior, we could be tempted to try and psychoanalyze her behavior to death. But in reality we really don’t know what’s going on in Foxie’s mind. This is just Foxie. Like each of the chimpanzees, she is an incredibly strong, intelligent, resilient and courageous person and this is how she sometimes chooses to express herself. We love and accept her for exactly who she is, every minute of every day. And that’s all we need to know.


Foxie on a troll stroll

February 24th, 2015 by Debbie

Foxie takes her dolls with her almost everywhere. She holds them during meal times, she plays with them (both on her own and with friends), and she rests with them. She even takes them on brief outings onto Young’s Hill. A lot of times she carries them on her back like a mother chimp would carry their infant around, but sometimes she is able to manage with them in her hand or mouth as she walks. In the last photo, you’ll see she’s rubbing the troll’s belly as they head back into the greenhouse.

Though it can seem endearing how Foxie loves her dolls, it’s also a sad reminder that Foxie was never able to keep a baby of her own.

Foxie was used as a breeder in the lab. When she was just 10 years old, she gave birth to twins, David and Steve. Steve is deceased, but David is currently living at Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico. Foxie had two other babies, Angie (who now thankfully lives at Save the Chimps in Florida) and Kelsey (who lives at APF like David).

Though we can never make up for all that Foxie has lost, we are so glad that in sanctuary she has found a great deal of happiness and companionship in her dolls.





In memory of Tory Dinkins

February 24th, 2015 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored in memory of Tory Dinkins by Ammie Haggard, one of our new volunteers. Ammie shared this lovely message: “I would like to honor the memory of my loving friend, Tory Dinkins. Tory was an extremely compassionate person who exhibited unconditional love and kindness to all animals.”

Ammie, thank you so much for honoring Tory’s memory and ensuring the spirit of such a compassionate life goes on by sponsoring this day for the chimpanzees. It’s wonderful to think that Tory’s life continues to make a difference in the world and we are touched you would share your special memories of a dear friend to make the chimpanzees’ lives better.


Negra close-up

The Big Kid

February 23rd, 2015 by Elizabeth

Despite Burrito’s 32 years of age, he acts like a kid more often than not (and brings out the kid in us).

Another Sunny Day and Time Spent on Young’s Hill

February 22nd, 2015 by Keri

Sometimes looks can be deceiving. The sun was shining bright this morning, but there was still frost on the ground and a chill in the air. I figured the chimpanzees would wait for the temperature to rise a little before they would spend a good chunk of time on Young’s Hill, but that wasn’t the case this morning.

Volunteer caregiver Patti served breakfast in the Greenhouse and had just finished serving chow bags as I opened the door between the Greenhouse and Young’s Hill. Jody was actually waiting right by the door and walked out onto the hill, positioned herself in the sun and ate the contents of her first chow bag. Her breath was visible as the temperature was still in the 20’s.


Annie soon followed Jody outside and sat on the logs to eat her chow.



Missy followed Annie outside and took a few moments to sit on the logs and check out the scene.


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After finishing her first bag of chow, Jody made her way further up Young’s Hill before returning to her previous spot. On the way back down the hill, Jody greeted Missy who was on her way up the hill.





Next to venture out onto Young’s Hill was Foxie, accompanied by her dear troll friend. She chose to enjoy her chow bags from the top of the platform in the sunshine.


Jamie chose to finish her chow bags inside the Greenhouse before venturing out onto the hill. She walked around, stopping to listen to the ducks who were making noise nearby.



Negra chose to enjoy her morning chow bags in the sun as well, just inside of the Greenhouse where it was warmer.



Burrito on the other hand, spent most of his morning on top of the platform in the Greenhouse (possibly enjoying the quiet as most of the ladies were on the Hill).

I’ll never get tired of seeing these chimpanzees on Young’s Hill, where they can actually feel the grass below them and the warmth of the sunshine on their faces.

Today is in memory of Orfeo Tanzi

February 22nd, 2015 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Rita Stevenson in memory of her father, Orfeo Tanzi. Rita is a long-time supporter of chimpanzees and she shared this lovely message about today: “A year after my father passed away I saw the video of Jody munching away on a huge sunflower. It warmed my heart because my dad and I used to grow sunflowers in his huge garden. He loved chimps and all animals. He was kind to all animals. Thus, in memory of my father, I’ve been supporting Jody, Negra, Burrito, Missy, Annie, Foxie and Jamie with Nuts.com deliveries and blankets and toys care packages. Today, on my 60th birthday, I wish to honor my dear father who I miss and love dearly.”

Rita, thank you for not only honoring your father in this way and including the chimpanzees in your special memories of him, but also for sharing your own special day in order to make theirs better. We hope you have a wonderful birthday and may your day be filled with all the things you love.

Our resident Master Gardener/Forager/Harvester, Jody: