Ladies of leisure

April 24th, 2017 by Katelyn

After the chimps (even Negra!) spent a busy morning on Young’s Hill foraging for wild greens, exploring, playing, and guarding the perimeter against new intruders (neighbor cows), it’s been a pretty leisurely afternoon at the sanctuary. With warming temperatures, fresh air through open windows and doors, and a sun-drenched greenhouse, these ladies were soaking it all in.




8th Annual Love a Chimpanzee Day

April 23rd, 2017 by Elizabeth

We love made-up holidays around here (holiday = party for the chimps). For the last 8 years, the chimps’ good friend Monica Best has sponsored April 23rd as Love a Chimpanzee Day. (It also happens to be Monica’s birthday!) Unless you’ve followed our blog for awhile, you probably haven’t heard of Love a Chimpanzee Day; that’s because it didn’t exist until Monica dreamed it up.

To celebrate CSNW’s 8th Annual Love a Chimpanzee Day, we decided to throw a luau party, because there’s never a bad time to throw a luau party for chimps you love. The chimps enjoyed a feast of bananas, oranges, fruit smoothie, and pineapple coconut water for breakfast in the greenhouse.



(Burrito was especially happy to see former volunteer caregiver Stephanie, who stopped by for a visit!)





(Annie really had lounging down to an art today…)

Thanks as always to Monica for conceiving of and sponsoring this delightful holiday (and happy birthday)!

With love for chimpanzees and Pygmy

April 23rd, 2017 by Katelyn

It’s our 8th annual Love a Chimpanzee Day, thanks to long-time supporter and friend, Monica Best, sponsoring this day of sanctuary each year. As Monica says (and we obviously agree), “Every day should be love a chimpanzee day.” It also happens to be Monica’s birthday and in choosing to celebrate those dear to her heart, today is also in memory of beloved Pygmy.

If you know Monica, you know she’s dedicated much of her life as an advocate for the conservation and well-being of countless animals. From wolves to bears, cats to dogs, flying foxes to chimpanzees, and I suspect everyone in between, Monica uses her life to better theirs. So while we celebrate the chimpanzees today, we also celebrate Monica. Happiest of days to you, our chimp friend! We hope you have a beautiful day filled with all you love and we’re sending you all the good thoughts! Thank you so much for all you bring to the chimps’ lives.


Negra behind grass

Four Reasons to HOOT!

April 22nd, 2017 by Diana

Here are four reasons to join us at HOOT! on May 13th at Sodo Park in Seattle.

These photos were taken today as the chimpanzees explored and enjoyed their home. Take a moment on this Earth Day to appreciate their happiness.

Their sanctuary life is only possible with the support of so many people out there, and our annual gala plays a big role in raising funds for their care and our exciting plans for the future.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets to HOOT! yet, don’t delay – buy them now! If you are unable to attend, we’ll miss you, but you can still take part by making a donation. We’ll also have just a few items available for bidding online – details coming soon.


hoot logo


Annie eating fresh spring grass:

annie eating grass


Burrito taking a brief break from foraging for lunch:

handsome burrito


This is a very contented face on Jamie:

Jamie happily sitting


Jody has the best drooped lip face!

Jody with drooped lip

Happy Earth Day! Thank you for helping us grow!





For Earth Day and the chimpanzees!

April 22nd, 2017 by Katelyn

This day was sponsored by Debbie Bloom in honor of the chimpanzees and this beautiful Earth we all share. She shares this lovely message about today:

“In honor of Earth Day it seems appropriate to celebrate all of these beautiful creatures. They bring such joy and intrigue into our lives – especially mine. I only wish that I could read their minds.” 

Debbie, on this day in which we’re given a special opportunity to honor and celebrate this amazing earth, and to protect and preserve all we cherish, we love that you’ve chosen to include the chimps. Thank you so much for honoring the special individuals they are and all they bring to our lives just by being themselves.

There is so much to love on this earth. Especially these seven chimpanzees. Safe, thriving and loved in a beautiful world to call their own, thanks to each of you.









April 21st, 2017 by J.B.

Annie was kind enough to let me take some photos of her in the greenhouse this afternoon during lunch. In close, tight shots like these, my attention is often drawn towards some of the differences between us – notice her protruding brow ridge, her flat nose, her elongated palms and fingers, her small thumbs, and her opposable big toes. Of course, you can’t help but notice the similarities as well – her eyelashes, her fingernails, the wrinkles in her skin.

Later, I found Jamie sitting in the “portrait studio” area and she was gracious enough to let me photograph her for a while. One notable difference between humans and chimps is that most chimpanzees have dark sclera – that’s the portion of the eye surrounding the pupil and iris. There’s something about the contrast provided by the dark sclera that makes the iris almost glow in a certain light.

In honor of Bryan Pease

April 21st, 2017 by Katelyn

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Kery Shaw and Terran Baylor in honor of their friend, Bryan Pease! They shared this special message about their kind gift:

“Bryan is a good friend who advocates for animals and humans. Although, his birthday was April 8th, today activists around the world are speaking out for animals in laboratories. Today we honor Bryan who has been a huge voice for animals in labs, we honor the animals, especially the seven chimps at CSNW. Bryan is one of the top rated civil rights attorneys in San Diego and has met the stringent selection criteria of the national rating agency SuperLawyers. He is a public interest attorney focusing on government transparency and accountability, freedom of speech and assembly, and environmental, animal and consumer protection. In the June 2016 California primary election, over 23,000 registered Democrats voted for Bryan to be their San Diego County Democratic Central Committee delegate, giving him the most number of votes in the county out of 73 candidates across six state assembly districts. Bryan has fought for many San Diegans who would not be able to afford an attorney if it weren’t for Bryan’s pro bono work. For his entire legal and professional career, Bryan has worked tirelessly defending the public interest. He has successfully fought for environmental and consumer protection, defended against employment and housing discrimination, and enforced the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. In addition to running his own law firm, Bryan has taught as an adjunct law professor, inspiring law students to pursue public interest law. Bryan also regularly provides pro bono legal services to homeless veterans and small nonprofit organizations. Bryan has also served as a board member of Ocean Beach Peoples Co-Op from 2008-2015, OB’s largest employer, and for the past 10 years, he has been the volunteer executive director of a nonprofit thrift store in San Diego that benefits animal and environmental protection causes.” We love you Bryan! Love Kery & Terran.”

Kery and Terran, thank you for adding to the chimpanzees’ lives by celebrating such an inspirational human as Bryan and for always holding the chimpanzees in your hearts. To you both, as well as Bryan, thank you for all you do for our fellow humans and animals and for making the world a better place for us all!




Jamie, Missy, Burrito, Annie and Foxie:

Annie and Missy:


jody leek



A wadge

April 20th, 2017 by Anna

In the wild, chimpanzees will store chewed up fibrous materials (called a wadge) in their bottom lips. This way they can suck every last bit of juice out of tough, chewy plants. Just like their free-living counterparts, the Cle Elum 7 wadge fibrous things such as alfalfa cubes, pine tree needles, cattail leaves and other edible plants. They seem to enjoy eating their dry primate chow this way, stuffing their lips full and adding water so they can slowly savor the flavor.

Jody is fond of all things fibrous, including pineapple peel, seen here:

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

April 20th, 2017 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Janet Annal in honor of her son, Matthew Annal! Janet shared this message about today:

“Happy belated birthday! Matthew is a chimp aficionado and spreads information with his chimpanzee puppet. He was able to visit CSNW several years ago to get to know the chimps better and make sure he represents them accurately. Way to go, Matt!!”

Janet, thank you for choosing to celebrate Matthew’s special day by making a difference for the chimpanzees! What a generous thing to do.

Matthew, we hope you have the best birthday yet! Thank you so much for caring about chimpanzees and for all the work you do to share your passion and information with others. Happy Birthday from all of us at CSNW!

Burrito loves a good party (as long as there’s plenty of food, of course):

Burrito with streamers

The impersonator

April 19th, 2017 by Anna

When we train new volunteers and interns to identify the Cle Elum 7, we emphasize the importance of ignoring circumstantial evidence. Does that chimp have a blanket over their head? Yes. Who likes to cover themselves with blankets? Negra! If we see a chimpanzee covering themselves with a blanket can we positively ID that chimp as Negra? Absolutely not!
Exhibit A:

Negra sits next to a covered up Missy, aka Fake Neggie

Today I caught this “Fake Foxie” impersonator out on Young’s Hill. Let’s test your identification skills!