Today is for Jeani, Sara, and their family!

July 5th, 2015 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Jeani Goodrich and her family! Jeani is a long time volunteer and friend of the primates here. She is such a kind and compassionate soul and is always looking for ways to make the lives of others better, be they human or non. Jeani’s family gave her the wonderful gift of choosing a day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees and this is her special message about today:

“In honor of: Deb, John and Adam Mayes, Sean and Sara Curry, and Sean Peter and Brenna Curry.  Deb is my sister, Sara and Adam are my niece and nephew, and Sean Peter and Brenna are my grand-nephew and grand-niece. John and Sean are their wonderful spouses. They are honoring the chimps because they know how much the chimps mean to me. I chose the day, July 5th, because it is my niece Sara’s birthday and we are going to have a “Christmas in July” party for the chimps.”

Happy Birthday, Sara! We hope you have the best one yet! Thank you all, so much, for giving a gift that not only encompasses so many, but surrounds them all, including the chimpanzees, with love. And thank you for giving the chimpanzees another summer party to enjoy!

Jeani’s pal, Foxie:


Fun on the 4th

July 4th, 2015 by Diana

What a day! The chimpanzees had a terrific 4th of July, starting with a party in the morning, set up by caregiver volunteers Patti and Connie and new staff member Anna.

Here are just a few party photo selections.

Burrito licking a smoothie shot glass clean:

Burrito with shot glass

Jamie managed to get both of the piñatas:

Jamie rocket wreckage

Jamie with star pinata


But she shared with Missy:

Missy with star pinata


After we finished cleaning the playroom, Patti and Connie put some ice and pomegranate juice in the pool. Jamie dragged the pool around with her as she foraged for the kale that was also thrown about the room, then she and Jody settled in for some ice eating, with other chimps coming by once in a while. Jamie would pick up the ice with her hands, put it in her mouth, dry off her hands, then repeat.

Jamie eating ice and drying her hand


Today was our first summer visit day, led by J.B., so we put out a forage on the hill for lunch that included pea shoots from the sanctuary garden, harvested by caregiver volunteer Denice who dropped by just to say hello and do a little gardening. The pea shoots were a hit, as was the corn. It was another hot day, so most of the chimps gathered food from the hill and brought it in to the cooler greenhouse for leisurely snacking.



Jody carry pea tendrils



Annie eating corn and pea tendrils

Annie eat corn and pea tendrils

It wasn’t long before Jamie wanted to go back out on the hill to explore and look for more food, and she asked me to tag along after I put on her new pair of favorite boots.

She explored the hill as though it were an obstacle course, definitely appreciating the freedom she is able to have in her sanctuary home:

Jamie walking on fire hose bridge


This is the new shaky bridge that connects the two towers:

Jamie walking across the new tower shaky bridge


Meanwhile, Burrito took a nap in the playroom:

Burrito sleeping


Dinner included a pretty special treat for everyone – Field Roast frankfurters!



Foxie with hot dog



Jody with Field Roast frankfurter



Missy eat Field Roast frankfurter


I didn’t get any good photos of Negra today, but maybe that’s okay, since she was the star of yesterday’s blog post.


We hope you all have a great and safe 4th of July!


Today is in honor of family and freedom

July 4th, 2015 by Katelyn

This Independence Day of sanctuary was sponsored by both Don and Karen Young, and an anonymous supporter, in honor of family and freedom.

Don and Karen have been instrumental in expanding the chimpanzees sense of family and freedom. They helped make Young’s Hill possible and in doing so, increased the chimpanzees’ possibilities exponentially. Don and Karen shared this message about today:

“In honor of our sons, Rob and Ryan, and our daughters-in-laws, Soo Mi and Helena, a big thanks to them for their love and support and for being amazing parents to their children, our grandchildren. They are exceptional people, and we are so blessed to have them in our lives. In honor of liberty and freedom of people and the Cle Elum Seven.”

An anonymous supporter also sponsored today “because it represents freedom from oppression.” A simple, yet powerfully appropriate statement knowing the lives the chimps lived for decades before arriving in their sanctuary home.

Thank you so much to all of you for making a difference in the chimps’ lives, including them in your celebration of family, and helping to ensure not only their freedom, but their hope, love, home and sanctuary.

Jamie and Foxie:


Foxie leads the way: Annie, Missy, Burrito and Jamie.


Foxie, was among the first to climb the new structures and take in the view:


Negra braves the heat

July 3rd, 2015 by J.B.

It’s difficult to catch Missy in an action shot because she moves so fast.


It’s even harder to catch Negra in an action shot because…well, she’s just not very active. But even temperatures in the high 90’s couldn’t stop Negra from parkouring her way through Young’s Hill, troll in hand, to grab some broccoli and cauliflower during today’s lunch forage.





Foxie has been holding on to a new troll with its purple hair still intact. She treasures these while they last (Jamie and Jody usually rip the hair out).


Speaking of hair, a lot of people have trouble telling Annie and Foxie apart, so here’s a good side-by-side shot to help you out. Annie looks like someone just rubbed a balloon on her head. Not unlike a troll doll, come to think of it.


And Burrito has been showing off a bit more of his physique, thanks to his recent exam. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t build muscle on a diet of fruits and vegetables. Your results may vary, however, unless you also stick to Burrito’s daily workout routine that includes leaping, swinging, and banging on everything in sight as you terrify everyone around you in a formidable dominance display and then running for your life as six angry girls chase after you.



July 2nd, 2015 by Elizabeth

There is something endearingly childlike about Foxie. She is sweet (and sassy) and playful and full of joy. She sometimes stares deeply into her caregivers’ eyes, seemingly mesmerized. She loves her chimp family and wants everyone to get along.








July 1st, 2015 by Katelyn

Some of the most important things we can provide the chimpanzees are choices. The choice to explore their outdoor area or to nest inside. The choice to play with their chimp and human friends or nap. The choice to play with enrichment or ignore it. The choice to stay in one area or not when we are trying to shift them for meals or cleaning. The choices are many and we particularly love it when the chimps take it upon themselves to engage throughout the day in what they find interesting as long as we provide the options.

Choices relieve the inevitable bouts of boredom these intelligent, curious and active people experience at times being in captivity. And choices of how the chimps wanted to spend their moments and days was not something they often received prior to living in sanctuary. Yes, they are still in captivity and ultimately, the humans control their environment and schedule, but we do our very best at all times to work cooperatively with the chimps and give them choices at every possible opportunity. We want the chimpanzees to feel as much as possible that they finally get to call the shots. And really, they do.

These photos will hopefully provide an idea of how the chimpanzees choose to spend their days, in snippets:

Negra, dozing in the morning sun in the greenhouse when I first arrived:


Foxie and Dracula troll enjoyed a toothbrush while waiting for breakfast:


After breakfast, Burrito headed up Young’s Hill to climb one of the structures:


He is exhibiting a fear grimace here (notice it looks very similar to a human smile, but means quite the opposite for chimpanzees – when chimps smile they only show their bottom teeth). Burrito sometimes fear grimaces when doing new things on the hill until he feels more comfortable. He may be feeling a little nervous as he courageously walks out to the end of the plank:


Feeling more comfortable back on the platform:


Jody wasn’t far behind Burrito, but decided to survey the area for some wild greens instead:


Success! And she decides to head back to the greenhouse:


Annie chose to head straight for the new structure and enjoy a little quiet time and the view from Carlene’s Tower:


Missy decided to take the swinging bridge over to the other side:



Jamie decided to join Missy on Jamie’s Tower, but climbed the pole as opposed to taking the “simple” way up of the ladder:



Foxie joined Jamie a bit later:


While all this was occurring on the hill, Negra changed nests and took a post-breakfast nap:


Back inside later in the day, Jamie was thrilled to find one of her favorite enrichment items out – her “kitchen sink” filled with water and paper towels at the ready. She immediately wiped her nose:


And washed and dried her hands:


In between lunch and dinner the chimps also enjoyed checking out their growing garden and sampling some fresh peas and green onions, playing chase and grooming with caregivers and each other, cooling off with an ice cube snack, and napping throughout the day. And Jamie went on to check out new boots and enjoy an evening of walks around the hill while the other chimps headed to bed in the cooler playroom after dinner.

Annie, utterly relaxed:


As caregivers, continually providing the chimpanzees with new and interesting options of how to spend their time is one of our biggest challenges. And seeing them utilize all their options and sometimes create their own, is one of our biggest joys. And hopefully, one of their biggest joys as well.

Jamie (and J.B.) get new boots!

June 30th, 2015 by Katelyn

The chimpanzees had some good friends, Nikko and Billy, stop by with special gifts today. These two generous souls drove all the way down from British Columbia specifically to deliver multiple boxes of all but brand new boots from their family business, Stampede Tack and Western Wear in Canada! Many of the boots are men’s sizes and after suffering through wearing Jamie’s smaller boots, J.B. was pretty excited to find a pair that not only fit him, but were comfortable.

J.B. headed in to show Jamie, preparing to head out for a walk and as you may imagine, she was almost as excited as J.B. Jamie’s hair stood on end (pilo-erect), and she stomped her foot in excitement, but instead of heading out for a walk around the hill, Jamie decided she needed to inspect them immediately and demanded that J.B. hand them over. Too bad for J.B., it was almost like he had a birthday present taken away, but Jamie’s the boss around here.

Sometimes when Jamie gets really excited about something new, it’s almost as though she becomes overwhelmed and has to “walk away” to collect herself. After receiving the boots from J.B., Jamie took them into the playroom, softly hooting in excitement, but then she suddenly left them to sit out in the greenhouse momentarily. A few minutes later we found her with them, apparently ready to handle the excitement of her newest acquisitions.






Nikko, thanks so much to you and your family for such kindness and generosity! You made Jamie’s (and J.B.’s) day!

Burrito enjoys his lunch

June 29th, 2015 by Elizabeth

One of the unfortunate aftereffects of the anesthetic drugs Burrito received for his exam last Friday is that his stomach has been a little upset. For a guy who normally loves food above all else, this is the ultimate cruelty.

Luckily for Burrito, and for all of us who love to watch him love his food, his nausea seems to have all but disappeared. Here he is enjoying his lunch this afternoon. Turn your volume up and listen for his periodic low moans of contentment.

Negra in the Portrait Studio

June 28th, 2015 by Keri

I try to take photos of the chimpanzees whenever they are in the “the portrait studio” (an area in one of the front rooms that has great natural lighting). Negra was the first chimp I spotted there this morning, but the first two times I went to grab the camera and came back, she was gone. So, when I spotted her sitting on the ledge a third time, I debated getting the camera, thinking the same thing would happen again. Instead, she stayed there, stretched out her legs and let me see what she was “hiding” in her pelvic pocket.





This is not the first time that Negra has taken a liking to troll dolls. Take a look at the blog Diana wrote from last fall, when Negra brought a troll doll with her while foraging on Young’s Hill.

In Memory of Bryan Riner

June 28th, 2015 by Elizabeth

Today is sponsored for the chimpanzees in memory of Bryan Riner by his wife Judy and son Dax. Judy says:

This day of sanctuary is in memory of my husband Bryan Riner. Bryan died on Thanksgiving Day 2014; today would have been his 76th birthday. Over the last two years of his life, he became greatly interested in chimpanzees after reading Roger Fouts’s Next of Kin. He had great respect, admiration, and love for each of the Cle Elum 7, and he immensely enjoyed following their exploits on your blog. And so today our family wishes to honor a wonderful husband and father and his seven favorite chimps – as well as all the staff and volunteers at CSNW who provide sanctuary to these amazing beings. Thank you.

Thank you Judy and Dax; we’re honored that you thought of the Cle Elum 7 on such an important day for your family!