Today we took advantage of the cooler weather and put the chimpanzee’s lunch out on Young’s Hill for them to forage. These forages often consist of pieces of vegetables, fruit and chow and we spread them around the hill for the chimpanzees to find. Sometimes we even put some of the food on top of the treat rock (one of the prominent features of Young’s Hill). Jamie and Burrito are the chimpanzees most likely to be seen climbing on the rock in search of food. But today, Foxie tried her hands (and feet) on the rock after all of the other chimpanzees had gone back inside. This is the first time I have seen Foxie on the treat rock!
Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Meg Lunnum in memory of Bill and Ziggy, the two chimpanzees who resided at Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, California, for over 50 years. Meg is a long-time friend and supporter of all the primates (and bat population!) at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and does so much to care for, and educate others about, these special beings. Meg came to know of Bill and Ziggy while living in Eureka and she continued to follow their lives. She wishes to honor Bill and Ziggy today and share their history and memory with others.
Bill spent his childhood as a performer in a famous circus in Europe in the 1940′s, at one point performing for the Queen of England. At approximately the age of 11, Bill moved to the United States with his “trainer.” Bill became increasingly unsafe to handle and after a performance in Eureka, a discussion between a local reporter and Bill’s trainer led to Bill being purchased by the school children of Eureka for $300 so that he could retire at the Sequoia Park Zoo. Bill lived to be one of the oldest known chimpanzees in captivity and was believed to be at least 62 at the time of his death on June 26, 2007.
Ziggy spent his childhood performing in night clubs until he inevitably grew too strong for his “owner” to manage. In 1963, the city of Eureka rescued Ziggy from an animal shelter in the hopes he could live with Bill. Unfortunately, Bill and Ziggy were not able to be safely housed together and they lived in separate enclosures next to each other. Ziggy passed away in 1996 at the age of 40.
I could not locate a photograph of Ziggy, but here is handsome Bill :
Meg also wished to share some information about the zoo’s tribute to Bill and Ziggy since their passing:
“Bill’s former exhibit has been converted into a tribute garden in honor of Bill and Ziggy. The garden features two fountains where their night quarters once were and a bronze statue of Bill stands between them along with his rope swing above. The paths of the garden are lined with bricks inscribed with special messages to Bill and Ziggy and to other loved ones within the community and Bill’s ashes were placed under the engraved bricks.
On the walls are the stories and photographs of the lives of these remarkable chimpanzees as well as the 100-year history of the Sequoia Park Zoo. Bill’s Garden is a special corner of the zoo where patrons reflect, reminisce and appreciate the story of these two animals who shared their lives with the community.”
Meg’s gift of sanctuary for the chimpanzees is one that is particularly dear to my heart. While their heartbreaking histories are not particularly unique to apes in captivity, Bill and Ziggy were the first chimpanzees I had the privilege to meet and I grew up visiting them throughout my childhood. Even as a very young child, as special as it felt to visit Bill and Ziggy, it was so clear to me that they were meant for different lives and I felt helpless witnessing the lack of human understanding that surrounded them at the time. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see their memory honored today. And I am so grateful for the growing awareness of the amazing individuals chimpanzees (and all animals) are and the progress and understanding we all continue to gain so that they may all one day live the lives they are meant to.
Meg, thank you so very much for remembering these special guys and for giving the chimpanzees a special day in their honor! We are so grateful to you for all you do to make the world a better place for the special beings we share it with.
Foxie, as you probably know, is quite the charmer. She is apparently also muse to several artists. Did you notice the Foxie theme in the Summer Biddin’ online auction? Take a look at the photo below that launched a thousand (ok, more like three) paintings:
In addition to those three Foxie-inspired art pieces, the below two pieces are also available for your bids!
And if that’s not enough Foxie for you (how could anyone have too much Foxie?), here are a few photos taken today, when Foxie was out with the gang foraging for lunch during a light shower. If you look closely, you can see the rain:
Happy bidding, everyone! The online auction ends Monday at 7:00pm PT
Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Jessica Larson! Today also happens to be Jessica’s 30th birthday and she shared the following message:
“I honor the chimps who have taught me so much about myself and my world on this day. May they enjoy 30 plus years of happiness and health in the sanctuary.”
We often hear from people how much the chimpanzees inspire them. Even people who have not had the opportunity to meet the chimps in person often share the profound difference they bring to their lives. We are so grateful that the chimpanzees are recognized not only as the special individuals they are, but for the value and significance of what they contribute to life, in no other way than just being themselves.
Jessica, thank you so much for honoring the chimpanzees on your own special day and for your generosity and compassion of gifting them with a day of sanctuary! All of us here at CSNW wish you the happiest of birthdays!!
I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve walked around Young’s Hill today. We started just after breakfast, with Jamie frantically gesturing towards the bin of boots in the kitchen, letting us know that is was time to begin the daily ritual. After exchanging one of my sneakers for a bright red cowboy boot, we set out together to patrol the perimeter of her two-acre enclosure. There was another walk before lunch, and then another just afterwards. Steph and Debbie went on a patrol with Jamie in mid-afternoon, and then I rejoined Jamie for another before dinner. As soon as dinner was over it was time to head out again for a couple more. And just a moment ago, at a little after 7pm, I handed my red cowboy boot to Diana, who will walk with Jamie as the sun starts to set. This might be the last, but somehow I doubt it.
Biddin‘ and Lovin’ has begun for our Summer Biddin’ online-only auction! There’s only four days for this quick and fun fundraiser that will provide money to care for the chimpanzees, so don’t delay!
We have one Producer and a few Directors for our Summer Lovin’ Party – thank you! We’re currently searching for Executive Producers and a lot more production help. Learn more in the video below and here.
Here are the top three Biddin’ items so far. Click through to get the details and place a bid:
Thanks to donors Robert and Alisha Palmer
by Lisa Dieumegard
Giclee print on canvas
by Margaret H. Parkinson
There are so many other great items to check out right now. Foxie inspired quite a bit of art for this auction.
Surprisingly, there are no bids on the Backstage Pass to the Sanctuary yet, but we know you’re just holding out.
Please help spread the word about Summer’ Biddin’ and Lovin‘ by sharing with your friends via email and social media, bid high and bid often, and help us throw a spectacular end-of-summer party!
Our day, and how smoothly things can be expected to go, is often made evident within the first few minutes of greeting the chimpanzees in the morning. Or more specifically, within the first few minutes of greeting Jamie. Like many of us, Jamie isn’t always a morning person. And she has no qualms about letting us know exactly where she stands. Or rather, where we stand. But the chimpanzees (or more specifically Jamie) have been happy and playful all day! The chimp house has been full of laughter, games of chase, wrestle and slap, and all around goofiness.
Of course, we caregivers want to bring out the cameras for such chimpanzee shenanigans. But Jamie has stringent rules about whether or not she will allow the paparazzi around, especially for close-ups. But today her good mood seemed to extend a lot of tolerance to us. She even nodded approvingly while checking out her “selfies.”
“Upside-down-Jamie-on-a-barrel” is always a welcome sight and a sure sign she’s in a particularly playful mood. She spent the majority of the morning like this:
And she was happy to keep taking “selfies.”
I mentioned the other day that some 2013 HOOT! auction bidders had cashed in their photography experience at the sanctuary that they won at the gala.
Right now, we are gearing up for our Summer Biddin’ online auction. While we don’t have a photography session, we do have a really amazing and unique experience to bid on: a Backstage Pass to the Sanctuary!
Bidding for all items opens Thursday morning, and items are still being added, but you can and should (right now) check out how you can help us throw a spectacular Summer Lovin’ Party for the chimpanzees and get some perks for yourself in the process.
Back to Saturday. Martha and Susie were the first winning bidders for the photography session. They had a great time at the sanctuary learning some new photography skills from photographers Karen Ducey and Dean Rutz. They set up photography camp on the observation deck and learned the ropes of the professional equipment that Karen and Dean generously loaned.
And they got some really amazing photos!! Below are just a few.
And birthday-girl Missy, looking like her athletic self:
Not only was it Missy’s birthday on the day they visited, it was also Martha’s! Karen was kind enough to bring a birthday cake, which of course we adorned with some CSNW style:
Martha and Susie also took a walk with J.B. around the hill with Jamie of course following on the inside of the fence. Ellie the elk was hanging around the property and joined them too:
You just never know what adventures await at the sanctuary, especially on a party day, which is why you should get ready to bid on the unique Backstage Pass experience and help us throw a great end-of-summer party! You don’t have to wait until Thursday to make your Summer Lovin’ party donation – do it today!
Many folks have come to know the chimpanzees and their special interests. For instance, Foxie and her love of troll and dora dolls, Jamie and her love of boots and Negra and her love of nesting with a lot of blankets. Well, today, the chimpanzees decided to mix things up a bit.
Jamie usually lets us know when we pick out the right boot she wants us to wear for walking around Young’s Hill. Today she did not seem content with just one boot. After I showed her each boot in her boot bin, she continued to stomp on the second story of the playroom floor and motion toward her bin of boots. Turns out she wanted two boots not just one!
And finally, while cleaning the Playroom, we discovered an unusually large nest of blankets in Negra’s favorite nesting spot. Thinking that it was a little bit on the large side, we decided to count the number of blankets and found that she had made her nest with 31 blankets!! Throughout the course of a day, we place a total of 60 blankets in the Playroom, Greenhouse and Front Rooms, so a 31 blanket nest is quite large and probably quite comfortable. I wonder how many blankets she will use to build tonight’s nest. Unfortunately, I did not think to take a photo, but thought I would share that with you.
Each day we put out a variety of enrichment for the chimpanzees to play with. This is usually some assortment of toys, socks, scarves, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, scrub brushes, buckets, paper, stuffed animals, and anything else we think the chimps might enjoy. There are two types of items that we absolutely must include with each day’s enrichment: boots for Jamie and dolls for Foxie.
This morning Foxie spent a few minutes in front of a pile of dolls in the playroom, choosing which one(s) she should carry around for the day.
Foxie frequently uses the bite test to assess a doll’s worthiness:
In the end, she chose all three dolls, and the four of them headed into the greenhouse for some rest.