Happy Birthday, Diana!

April 30th, 2016 by Katelyn

There is so much to celebrate today! Not only is tonight our annual auction and gala, Hoot!, but it also happens to be our Co-Director, Diana Goodrich’s, birthday! An anonymous friend of the chimps appears to have been in cahoots with their pal, Jamie, and “helped” her sponsor this day for Diana along with sending this sweet message:

“When Jamie asked to borrow my credit card, I got suspicious…more cowboy boots ??? Not this time, she wanted to sponsor a day for one of her best friends, Diana, on her birthday! She said she hopes it will be one of the best birthdays ever!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANA!!! Love Jamie”

Thank you so much to Jamie and her co-conspirator for sponsoring this special day for Diana!! The chimps and humans alike couldn’t be more fortunate to have such an amazing, compassionate and dedicated person to call our friend and colleague. Happiest of birthday hoots to you from us all, Diana!! Thank you so much for all you do to make the lives of so many others the best they can be.

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NEGRA on the Final Day of HOOT!

April 30th, 2016 by Diana

Negra

Tonight is the night – 212 attendees, 25 volunteers and staff, and approximately two co-directors will descend upon The Foundry for a night of celebration and fundraising for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest while Negra, the Queen of the sanctuary, sleeps soundly in her nest of blankets.

Negra, who was ripped from her family and home in Africa. Negra, who was brought to the United States to be used in biomedical research as an infant. Negra, who spent over three decades living in laboratories. Negra, who had four babies during this time, all of them removed from her shortly after birth. Negra, who was put into complete isolation for 18 months on the basis of incorrect blood work. Negra, who clearly showed the signs of PTSD when she arrived at the sanctuary.

Negra, and the chimpanzees like her who are still waiting for their chance to sleep soundly, is why we are gathering tonight.

Her sanctuary story wouldn’t be possible without those who are working each day to improve the lives of animals in a myriad of ways, raising the consciousness of others and helping to change society in incremental steps and quantum leaps.

Tonight those attending HOOT! have the opportunity to connect with many of these people,  including Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

For those of you not able to attend, I encourage you to listen to this interview with Wayne on the Diane Rehm Show.

For all supporters, whether you are able to attend or not, watch the video message below from Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest board president Lisa McCurdy and know that your support means the world to Negra and to all of us, human and non, at the sanctuary.

Some of you may know that it happens to be my birthday today as well as HOOT! If you would like to donate in honor of either or both of these events, you are most welcome do so on the HOOT! donation page. I am so looking forward to telling everyone about the success of the event in the coming days!

MISSY on the 6th Day of HOOT!

April 29th, 2016 by J.B.

Since we are racing around getting ready for tomorrow, Missy seemed the perfect choice to acknowledge the eve of the HOOT! 2016 gala.

Missy with Hoot! logo

When Young’s Hill was first opened, we described Missy as “a spring that was coiled up for decades, just waiting to be released.” She embodies the idea that sanctuary is not just a place of comfort and safety, but also a place of opportunity. When Missy finally had the opportunity to run, she seized it and did not let go.

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In rare moments of stillness, which could easily be misinterpreted as resting or recuperating, Missy is in fact plotting her next adventure. Her eyes survey the landscape for the next hill to climb or the next tightrope to walk. Thirty years in a cage is a long time…too long to ever let an opportunity go to waste.

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We’re so excited about the opportunities before us this year, and we intend to move forward with every bit as much determination as Missy. Tomorrow at Hoot!, we will raise funds for the next phase of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest so that more chimpanzees can call this sanctuary home.

As chimpanzee research comes to an end, let us ensure that every chimpanzee can finally feel the joy that Missy has discovered.

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JAMIE and friendship on the 5th Day of HOOT!

April 28th, 2016 by Diana

I had a realization not long ago. It occurred to me that Jamie is one of my best friends. We have mutual interests (shoes, being outdoors, eating grapes), we’re generally happy to see each other, we have routines that have developed over time, and I think we’ve established a mutual respect for one another over the years, which has been heightened by the two of us working on Positive Reinforcement Training this last year.

You may have gathered from previous posts, that Jamie is not exactly obvious best friend material… but that’s part of what makes our friendship all the more meaningful to me.

For this 5th day of HOOT! with just two days left before the big event, I share with you this photo of my friend Jamie:

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I have another friend that I would like to acknowledge today. Pam Lehnert and her husband Marc Warner. I am indebted to them both for helping to make HOOT! 2016 not just your average event, but a beautiful and (literally) heart-filled one.

Pam has been an event volunteer since our very first gala in 2009 and there is no way I would be organizing this level of event without her help.

Pam and Marc not only gave their time and labor towards HOOT!, they also are Chimpanzee Champion Sponsors of the event!

A big thanks to them and to all volunteers who helped plan and will be working on Saturday!

 

JODY for the 4th Day of HOOT!

April 27th, 2016 by Diana

HOOT! 2016 really is just around the corner! That means that we are working out the last details with multiple check-lists and lots of phone calls, texts, and emails flying back and forth among gala committee members, attendees, board members, and volunteers.

It’s times like these that I think about Jody and her managerial skills.

While most of the time Jody is quite independent and content to do her own thing, when there are group “projects” to do – like moving from one area to another for meals – Jody can always be counted on to make sure the other chimpanzees are on task. She’s not pushy; she always encourages “compliance” in the gentlest of ways, sometimes even using play to encourage a lagging friend to follow the group.

 

Jody urging Foxie inside

 

Jody is also the only chimpanzee of the group of seven who will lend a hand simply when we ask for it, just so that we can continue with the routine of the day.

 

It’s pretty difficult to choose, but I think this image of Jody is my favorite of the seven images that will be available for bidding on during the event’s Happy Hour.

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I’ve chosen Jody to inspire me today to get through my to-do list and remember the teamwork that it takes to accomplish just about everything in life. Maybe she’ll inspire you too.

Speaking of teamwork, today’s countdown is thanks to these generous Chimpanzee Champion Corporate Sponsors, who not only support HOOT! but are good friends to the sanctuary throughout the year.

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Karen Ducy Photography

 

ANNIE and Family for the 3rd day of HOOT!

April 26th, 2016 by Diana

J.B. and I met Annie eight and a half years ago, along with the rest of the chimpanzees who were to become The Cle Elum Seven.

From the very first blog post we wrote about her (read it here), when we talked about Annie, we talked about her friendship with Missy. Her clear love for and reliance on her friend Missy was her defining characteristic.

But Annie is coming into her own.

While some of the chimpanzees are taking advantage of the sanctuary and living out the childhood that they never had (notably Foxie – just watch the video re-posted to the blog yesterday), I think Annie has been experiencing a bit of a rebellious adolescence lately.

It was clear from day one that Annie was at the bottom of the hierarchy of the seven chimpanzees. We’ve written about her anxiety and lack of confidence in social situations many times. And we’ve told you that her confidence has skyrocketed in the last few years. What we might not have mentioned is that she’s moved beyond confidence to downright moxie.

As a general rule, timidity is not a trait that is revered in the chimpanzee social world. Chimpanzees can be a rough bunch, and if you’re not prepared to walk your talk (or would that be walk your pant-hoot?), you might find yourself in a perilous situation.

While Annie remains sweet and soulful, she is learning that she can be just as tough as the other ladies and gent, and she is much less likely to back down during conflicts now. In fact, sometimes she is the one starting them. If she feels wronged, she won’t just have a self-directed anxiety-laden outburst as she did in the past, she will let the group know she’s not only upset, but she’s not putting up with it.

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On Saturday, we will be raising funds at HOOT! for our Expansion Fund. We have some big dreams for the future of the sanctuary, and we will be sharing these, including a surprise announcement, at the gala.

We have received a matching grant pledge from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund for $50,000. Laura Bonar, Fund Advisor for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund and Chief Program & Policy Officer at Animal Protection of New Mexico, will be one of our special guests at the event!

That grant and the matching funds that we will raise on Saturday will go towards our first phase of expansion. This means that we will be adding more chimpanzees to the group in the near future.

We are still seeing the individual personalities and the group dynamics of the Cle Elum Seven change after almost eight years, and this will be a whole new and thrilling chapter in the lives of Annie and her six family members.

Who knows how we will be describing Annie’s position three or four years from now. What I do know is all of the chimpanzees will continue to change and grow and experience life in new ways.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

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FOXIE for the 2nd Day of HOOT! & Wild Chimpanzees with Doll Rocks

April 25th, 2016 by Diana

We were all so touched by the incredible Sponsor-a-Day posted from Megan and her husband earlier today in memory of Baby H.

So, it seems appropriate to make today about celebrating Foxie. A video came up in my news feed on Facebook that is also Foxie-related. It is a short interview with Dr. Richard Wrangham and a fascinating look at juvenile chimpanzees in the wild who seem to be treating rocks as dolls.

Here’s a link to the video: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160422-the-young-chimpanzees-that-play-with-dolls

Does this seem like a doll-loving chimpanzee you know?

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Because we are counting down to HOOT!, I’m sharing this image that will be one of just seven exclusive metal prints that can be bid on during the Happy Hour reception at the event on Saturday (minus the HOOT! logo):

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Wondering what else will be happening during the Happy Hour? So much! Each guest will receive two drink tickets good for beer, wine, or two custom cocktails (delicious non-alcoholic punch is also available). And everyone can give with their hearts at the Hope, Love, and Home stations staffed by the best friends of the Cle Elum Seven – the sanctuary staff. Guests can ask questions, learn more about the chimps, and contribute directly to the area of care that speaks to them the most while earning a heart to personalize and add to the Heart Board.

Today’s countdown to the celebration of the year, just days away, is thanks to chimpanzee friends Tracy Headley and Poppoff Inc who are Happy Hour sponsors for HOOT!

 

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I am getting so very excited about the event this year, I might just do some pirouettes and spinning today in honor of Foxie.

Today is in memory of Baby H

April 25th, 2016 by Katelyn

We receive so many beautiful Sponsor a Day tributes from our amazing supporters. We are always deeply touched by the inclusion of the chimpanzees in the many moments that make up such an important part of everyone’s hearts and lives. And today there is an exceptionally special and touching tribute. Megan Hood and her husband share this message:

“My husband and I lost our baby during pregnancy. He was due on April 25, 2016. I just recently read about Foxie’s story and instantly felt a connection with her and the loss and separation of her children. I’ve loved looking at pictures of her and her dolls. I’m happy that she has her trolls to care for as if they were her babies.”

Megan, sometimes there are no words for the experiences and heartbreak we endure in life. But we want to express our heartfelt sympathy to you and your husband for the loss of your son. We are so glad that you have found a connection to Foxie and her children that brings you happiness and we’re truly touched that you would choose to honor the memory of your baby boy by making a difference in the lives of the chimpanzees. Knowing all that each of the chimpanzees have been through and then seeing their capacity for love and healing astounds us daily. And we are sending you all the good thoughts and wishes for the comfort, love, joy and serenity that you are helping provide for Foxie and her family. Thank you so very much.

foxie kiss troll

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Natural enrichment

April 24th, 2016 by Keri

We’re always trying to come up with ways to can keep the Cle Elum Seven enriched throughout the day. We offer toys, blankets, boots, dolls, clothing, containers (to name a few) each day. But, sometimes nature provides the best forms of enrichment, including grass and plants to forage, birds to watch (and chase) and snakes to inspect.

So, it’s always nice to incorporate parts of nature into the chimps’ enrichment. Pine cones are a great way to do just that. Add a little peanut butter to the outside, hide a few raisins in the middle and viola, chimpanzee evening enrichment.

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Missy

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Annie

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Jody

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Negra

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On the First Day of HOOT!

April 24th, 2016 by Diana

We are counting down to the HOOT! gala, just seven days away on April 30th.

This first day of HOOT! is thanks to Martha Faulkner Real Estate for being the Seattle Met Photo Booth Sponsor and thanks to Iain Moffat and Mohamed Jantan for being the Program Sponsor.

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HOOT! includes an in-person live auction, but shhhh – anyone can take a peek at what attendees will be bidding on this Saturday via the auction preview site (note this is a preview site only, there will be no online bidding available). However, if you aren’t able to attend, but are seriously interested in bidding on an item, get in touch (diana@ChimpsNW.org).

In addition to the live auction items, guests will have the opportunity to bid on unique photo prints of each of the chimpanzees. This First Day of HOOT! is for Burrito:

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Burrito seemed appropriate for day one because graphic designer Lori Kiers used his hooting face to promote the event this year:

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Thanks to everyone for already making this event a success! I am so looking forward to celebrating with you! Share your love of Burrito today if you’re excited too!