Playful Jamie

November 30th, 2015 by Whitney

Chimpanzees exhibit a variety of innate behaviors and vocalizations in different contexts. During play, for example, chimpanzees will often head nod to one another and laugh, which for a chimpanzee is a breathy pant with the top teeth covered by the upper lip. In grooming, chimpanzees will often lip-smack, teeth-clack, or blow raspberries. These behaviors seem to be used to communicate with other individuals that they are interacting in a certain context. Co-director Diana wrote a blog entry last year on grooming, which includes more detailed information about these behaviors and what they mean. As caregivers, we also use these behaviors and vocalizations during interactions to connect with the chimpanzees using their communication methods, which helps build rapport.

In the following video, Jamie plays with staff caregiver Elizabeth. In the beginning of the clip you can hear Elizabeth breathy panting during this tug-of-war/tickle interaction. Jamie then decided that intern Holly’s boot needed some TLC, so look closely at Jamie’s face and mouth to see her lip smacking as she grooms.

Holiday gift suggestions

November 29th, 2015 by Keri

Now that the holiday season is upon us, we are receiving numerous requests for chimpanzee gift ideas from supporters. There are a number of ways to support the Cle Elum Seven this holiday season from sending monetary donations to purchasing items directly from our Amazon Wish List.

Our wish list allows folks to purchase enrichment items that we have already approved for the chimpanzees here at CSNW. We try to give them a little bit of everything to enrich their senses and keep them occupied, but for their safety, we follow strict guidelines. These guidelines have been modified throughout the years as we have observed the chimps interacting with the various types of enrichment.

web Christmas Foxie's favorite new troll IMG_1542

Some examples of already approved enrichment items that may be on the wish list at any given time (which are geared directly for these chimps) include combs, brushes, hard plastic tools, wooden toys, Dora the Explorer and troll dolls, toothbrushes, slinkies, and buckets. You can also earmark a monetary gift towards enrichment so that the staff can purchase acceptable items.

Burrito with a toothbrush.

Jody inspects tool bench enrichment.

Foxie eating snow from enrichment container this morning.


We also add food items to the wish list, because as many blog readers already know, food can be quite enriching! These food items are very specific items that we have approved for the chimps to consume and include multi-vitamins, probiotics, gum, organic raisins, unsalted peanut butter, and almond milk.

Here is Foxie eating the peanut butter that we put inside of the PVC enrichment tube.

Also on the wish list are items that we do not give to the chimps, but they still do benefit the chimps. While garbage bags or printer toner may not seem like exciting gifts, they are essential for day-to-day operations here at the sanctuary! These non-chimp items include cleaning products like laundry detergent (we wash 70 plus blankets per day), latex-free gloves (for humans to use to clean the enclosures), scrub brushes, dish soap (to wash the enrichment items we give the chimps each day) and garbage bags. Other items on the list include office supplies such as pens, sticky notes, printer toner, and packaging tape, as well as maintenance tools and supplies. By updating the wish list, we are able to reflect what is needed at the time, as items are ranked by priority from highest to lowest.


Other gift suggestions that will benefit the chimps include gift certificates from Amazon, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Home Depot and Lowes. These gift certificates enable staff to purchase materials for building chimp-approved enrichment that cannot be bought in stores, such as hanging puzzles and raisin boards.

Jamie with raisin board that J.B. made.

Example of a PVC hanging puzzle used at the sanctuary and made by J.B.
web PVC pipe puzzle feeders enrichment IMG_1827

Supporters around the world ensure these chimpanzees’ lives are enriched and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Thank you for all your donations and for keeping the Cle Elum Seven in your thoughts this holiday season!

Pick your favorite November unseen photo

November 28th, 2015 by Diana

Going through the photos from this month, I found some gems that hadn’t been posted of each of the chimpanzees. There seems to be a yellow theme going on. Do you have a favorite?



Annie on yellow blanket



Burrito pilo



Burrito sitting on post



Foxie in the rain



Jamie sitting on chair



Jody nesting



Missy in profile



Negra side glance


BONUS – ANNIE & MISSY running together:

Missy Annie running behind

The Thanksgiving Celebration

November 27th, 2015 by J.B.

As promised, here is the video of yesterday’s party.

The anticipation of the feast is always the best part. When chimpanzees are happy, they share their happiness with everyone around them. They hug and kiss each other and join together in choruses of pant-hoots. And they share pants and grunts of excitement with their caregivers.

It’s a celebration not just of food, but of the family they have become. And we are grateful to be considered part of their family in moments like these.

Today is in memory of Robert Morrow

November 27th, 2015 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Peter Morrow in memory of Robert Morrow. There are so many moments and loved ones in life we all hold in our hearts and minds. And here at the sanctuary we are continually amazed and humbled by all the heartfelt memories and celebrations honored through such generosity and compassion for the chimpanzees.

Peter, thank you so much for choosing to make a difference in the chimpanzees’ lives in honoring Robert. We are happy to celebrate him here today and hope your day is filled with comfort and peace.


Thanksgiving at the Sanctuary

November 26th, 2015 by Anna

During this time of deep uncertainty in the world, there is nothing better than to stop and reflect on the things that we are thankful for at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Today the chimpanzees had a lunch celebration in the greenhouse, and of course there are numerous photos to share with you all shortly. But first we give thanks.

The first thanks we give is to the chimpanzees’ healthcare…
This past year we have needed to perform several medical procedures on Burrito for a cracked canine tooth, and one procedure on Jamie for an abscess on her swelling. During each procedure we had an amazing veterinary team that was able to provide the highest level of care for Burrito and Jamie from start to recovery. This year was also a time for us to start Positive Reinforcement Training with the chimpanzees. As the chimpanzees learn more, we have hopes that Cle Elum 7 can participate in their own healthcare for years to come.

The second thanks we give is to the volunteers of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest…
This outstanding team of volunteers is what keeps this sanctuary moving. Whether it be washing produce for the fridge, scrubbing enclosures, or walking alongside Jamie around Young’s Hill, each volunteer is a valuable asset that brings their dedication with them every time they come to the sanctuary.

The third thanks we give is to the supporters of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest…
Your donations carry the sanctuary and help us grow as we look towards a bright future. A future where we hope to expand and provide sanctuary to more chimpanzees that can forage for Thanksgiving treats alongside Jamie, Negra, Burrito, Jody, Missy, Foxie, and Annie.

And now what you’ve all been waiting for, the photos from today’s feast:

The menu: Vegan Field Roast Celebration Loaf, cranberry sauce, green beans, dinner rolls, and sparkling pear cider. Thanks to volunteer Patti for all her party planning work!

Missy LOVED the field roast!

Burrito got a little of everything..
And ate every last crumb!

Pear cider was a big hit..


And the dinner rolls were light and fluffy..


Annie found the hidden Brussels sprout stalk and had the whole thing to herself!

From all of us at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, have a very happy Thanksgiving! Stay tuned tomorrow for a video of today’s festivities!

Annie putting her feet up

November 25th, 2015 by Katelyn

The chimpanzees spent some time outside collecting their own snow today. But for the most part, everyone has been baking themselves in the sunny windows that look out over the valley below the sanctuary.

After lunch, Annie was quick to settle down in one of her favorite hot spots. When Annie is resting, and is content and relaxed, she loves to throw her legs in the air and kick them about or put them up against the window, intermittently clasping her feet together. Occasionally she throws in some feet clapping and Annie-bird noises (she whistles through her hands for this) for good measure.

Dear, sweet Annie…







First snow day

November 24th, 2015 by Katelyn

We all woke up to a couple inches of snow this morning and while the chimpanzees were not interested in going outside today, they were interested in eating the snow! Missy, Burrito and Annie were ready and waiting when I opened the door to Young’s Hill and immediately started food grunting when they saw the snow. They each took turns stretching out of the doorway to grab handfuls of the fluffy stuff. After breakfast was served, Jamie came in to nest bringing along of cup of snow to go that she had gathered:


Some of the chimps don’t mind collecting their own snow, but others are quick to figure out it’s much easier to just ask their caregivers to fetch it for them. Foxie sat at the window blowing raspberries with gusto until I brought a bucket in for them to snack on. After cleaning, we filled buckets with snow and sunflower and pumpkin seeds and you should have heard the excitement!




Jody inspected her options before relaxing with a big mouthful on the stairwell:




Burrito’s plan was to just grab a bucket and shovel in as much as possible:


And Foxie made the rounds and spent time at several buckets:


If you look closely, you can see Foxie rubbing her happy toes together.


And of course eating all that snow can make a person cold! So after the snow fest (which included snow in cowgirl boots!), Jamie bundled up to get warm:


I couldn’t get any photos of Negra as she is now frequenting her “winter” nesting area which is, of course, in a cozy corner out of sight. But rest assured the Queen had grabbed herself her very own bucket of snow snacks to enjoy from the comfort of her nest.

Take Action: Trunk Monkey Ads

November 24th, 2015 by Diana

Take Action Tuesday banner


Today, we’re asking for your help. We’ve reached out to the Suburban Auto Group multiple times over the years about their “Trunk Monkey” ads using chimpanzees who were abused during their years in entertainment.


web_chimp-driving-car-trunk-monkey-no-sign copy     No Trunk Monkey


Instead of listening to our concerns, retiring the old and tired campaign, and coming up with more creative advertising, the car dealership outside of Portland, Oregon keeps bringing the Trunk Monkey ads back.

Please help us in continuing to reach out to them today by learning more and sending a polite email to Erinn Sowle, Suburban Auto Group’s general manager, via this page.

Thank you for speaking out and sharing the action alert with your contacts. Your voice makes a difference!


Burrito’s Tug-of-War Massage

November 23rd, 2015 by Whitney

Today before lunch Burrito and staff caregiver J.B. played a nice long game of tug-of-war with a scarf. Burrito will often wrap the scarf around various parts of his body during this game so the caregiver can give him a little massage. Today he wanted to focus on his upper back and arms.