July 31st, 2015 by J.B.

Every once and a while, there’s a little more tension in the group than usual. Fights break out more often, and when they do, they result in more injuries. But chimps have a mechanism for dealing with this tension.


After a big conflict last weekend, they’ve been working hard to reestablish their relationships through grooming.


Chances are, some of the wounds they are grooming on each other are wounds they themselves inflicted.


But that’s life for a chimp. You fight, and you make up. Then, maybe, you fight again.


But you always make up.


Testing Testing…123

July 30th, 2015 by Anna

Hello to all the CSNW blog readers! My name is Anna Wallace and I’m the newest staff caregiver to join the team. I’m really excited to be going through training here and getting to know more about the Cle Elum 7! Today, as you may already know, is my first blog post. Not only is it my first blog post, but it is also my first time taking photos of these very photogenic beings. I thought I would share with you my favorites from the series of pictures I took this afternoon under Elizabeth’s watchful guidance.

Negra and her droopy lip.

Handsome Mr. Burrito, lounging in the portrait studio.

I hope to share many more photos and a more detailed account of my training in the weeks to come!

Foxie’s evening

July 29th, 2015 by Katelyn

Each night after dinner the chimpanzees receive their food puzzle for the evening. This is typically a pretty exciting time and once everyone has their puzzle they find a quiet spot to enjoy their treats in peace and the chimp house begins to wind down for the day. This evening’s puzzle was frozen applesauce and banana in PVC tubes and I caught Foxie enjoying hers:



When the chimps finish their food puzzles, they usually head straight to their chosen sleeping spot for the night, blankets in tow, and begin making their nests (with the exception of boss Jamie who still has a lot of things to do). But this evening, Foxie decided to hang out as we finished the closing routine and seemed to be enjoying the peaceful time, occasionally glancing out the window next to her as the sun began to sink lower over the sanctuary.







About this time we gave Jamie her “boot package” for the evening. Jamie often requests her favorite “boots du jour” before we leave which we fill with enrichment items for the evening (such as a toothbrush, cup, comb, nail file, scarf, etc) and pass to her through a chute. As she also requested the boots she had me wearing at the time, I happened to be barefoot. And at the sight of bare human toes, Foxie thought it would be a fantastic time to play one last game of chase, interspersed with pirouettes, through the chimp house (never mind that people were settling down to sleep).

After a few minutes of play, we said goodnight to everyone and turned off the lights in the chimp area, answered by the chimpanzees giving nest grunts goodnight in return. Nest grunts are a vocalization that chimpanzees make when they are settling into their nests for the night as a way to check in with each other before they go to sleep. (Admittedly, it’s one of my absolute favorite moments of the day).

As I was closing the door to the chimp area I saw Ms. Foxie head out to the solitude of the greenhouse. I went to say goodnight and found that she had decided to camp out on the top platform, looking out over Young’s Hill, as she held Dora (with some wild hair) close to her. Goodnight dear Fox.


Grab bag Tuesday

July 28th, 2015 by Katelyn

The chimpanzees are ultra low-key today. They have all spent the day relaxing this warm summer day and most everyone has been tucked away in their nests or out exploring Young’s Hill. On these kind of days it can be tough work for the paparazzi to get any photos, so one has to loiter in the hopes of getting anything. But eventually a few of the ladies were willing to oblige.

Jody, enjoying a relaxing moment in the greenhouse.




Foxie was having fun running back and forth from the spigot to me with mouthfuls of water and getting pretty excited about me anticipating being spat upon (as is evidenced by her hair being pilo-erect). This is a favorite game of hers and though she didn’t spit any at me she does a pretty good job making you think she might. Which is, I’m sure, half the fun.




And the beautiful Missy.



Happy Birthday, Rachel!

July 28th, 2015 by Katelyn

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Rachel Ruggeri! Rachel recently sponsored a day of sanctuary in memory of her father, Robert. And today she generously chose to celebrate her own special day with the chimps and sends this message: “It is my birthday and since the chimps sent me a card, I want to send something to them!”

Rachel, it means so much to us that you have chosen to mark these special days in your life by making the chimpanzees’ lives better. And it means the world to them. All of the primates here at CSNW wish you the happiest of birthdays and hope your day is filled with all the love, compassion and joy you share with others!



Jody to the rescue

July 27th, 2015 by Keri

In order to help Burrito’s recovery from his recent dental procedure, we have been giving him and all of the chimpanzees soft foods. So, today we roasted a variety of fruits and vegetables for all of their meals. And to take advantage of the cooler temperatures we’ve been having, we put out a forage on Young’s Hill for lunch. Let me just tell you, there has been a ton of food squeaking going on over these roasted treats!

As soon as we opened the door to give the chimps access to Young’s Hill at lunch, all seven of them quickly made their way outside, gathering everything they could find. I watched Jody gather roasted onions and beets and quickly put them in her mouth. She went after roasted carrots next and had her mouth completely full before making her way back to the Greenhouse with her treats. Then she stopped, paused for a minute and looked behind her, then turned around and went back up the hill a few steps. I thought maybe she spotted another tasty morsel, but no, she saw something else and quickly snatched it up and practically ran back to the Greenhouse. Can you guess what it was? Hint, take a look at the photos below.









Burrito’s recovery continues today

July 26th, 2015 by Keri

Burrito continues to recover from a dental procedure he had this past Friday. He was reunited with the ladies yesterday and this morning he greeted caregivers and staff with foot stomps and head nods and initiated a few rounds of chase. He’s not quite at full speed yet, but as the hours tick away, he’s recovering more and more.

Love and attention from a good friend like Foxie sure seems to help the process. Foxie spent a good part of this morning grooming Burrito, while he sat relaxing on the deck in the Greenhouse. And all of that relaxation allowed for him to spend quite a bit of time foraging for lunch on Young’s Hill, longer than any of the other chimps in fact. Perhaps it was the roasted sweet potatoes and apples that kept him on the hill for so long.






Recovery and Reunion

July 25th, 2015 by Diana

I’ve never seen a chimpanzee sleep so soundly and for so long as Burrito did after his dental procedure yesterday. He slept from mid afternoon yesterday straight through to this morning.

Burrito sleeping in recover room

J.B. and I decided to leave the playroom empty so that Burrito could have a peaceful rest without the girls disturbing him, They spent the day in the greenhouse and Young’s Hill. Around 7:00 last night I opened up a couple of the front rooms for the girls for the night, leaving one empty as a buffer between him and them.

Even with the noise of operating doors, Burrito continued to sleep soundly. Burrito’s position in Front Room One meant that the girls couldn’t see him. They sure did try, though. I had taken the photo above of him sleeping, so I decided to show that to whoever wanted to take a look. Jamie stared at it for a very long time – I’ve only seen her look at photos that long when they are of herself.

Jamie seemed reassured that Burrito was okay, and made her nest up on the bench in Front Room Three, with Foxie bedding down next to her. Negra was very eager to make a nest. She chose a spot on the floor in Front Room Three and used most of the blankets that were in that room, so I handed out more. Jody made her nest on the lower bench in Front Room Four, which allowed her to see down the hallway.

When Missy and Annie went back out to the greenhouse after trying to see Burrito, I went out to see what they were up to. It turns out they had decided to camp out on the top of the structure of the greenhouse.

Here’s Missy making her nest at the top of the structure:

Missy nesting in the greenhouse


And here she is, all covered up and ready for sleep:

Missy covered in sheet


I handed out more blankets to Annie, and she made her bed next to Missy:

Annie nesting

Annie nesting


When I went back a few hours later, Burrito was still sleeping, and either Missy or Annie had moved into the upper bench in Front Room Four. I didn’t want to disturb sleeping chimpanzees, so I don’t know who it was, but either Annie or Missy had a nice sleep out in the greenhouse, which was probably a first for an overnight!

This morning, Burrito was much more alert – all that sleep served him well!

He was anxious to get back with the group, but we wanted him to rest up some more, which was probably good because the ladies had a fight this afternoon, so it was just as well that he stayed out of that.

As is the routine after a fight, grooming commenced. Here is Missy, Jody, and Foxie:

grooming after a fight


Burrito was back to his usual self by the late afternoon:

Burrito holding toy

Burrito holding toy to mouth

Burrito with toy in mouth


By the time dinner came around, everyone was insisting that they be reunited. And so they were.


In the photo below, Burrito is standing bipedally and Foxie, Negra, Jody, and Missy are all rushing to greet him.

Jody and Foxie and Negra greeting Burrito


Foxie was particularly enthusiastic with her greeting:

Foxie greeting Burrito


And here’s Mr. B doing what he loves most – eating. He’ll be on a soft food diet for a few days, so there will probably be many more baked sweet potatoes in his future:

Burrito eating baked sweet potato


Today is in memory of Robert Ruggeri

July 25th, 2015 by Katelyn

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Rachel Ruggeri in memory of her father, Robert Ruggeri. Rachel shared this note about today: “My father, who passed away on 7/25/13, loved animals big and small. We miss him dearly.”

Rachel, thank you so much for including the chimpanzees in remembering your father, Robert, today. You have both made a difference in their lives. All of us here at CSNW are so sorry for your loss and we are touched to be able to play a small part in honoring his life. What a lovely thing that he and love of animals continues to live on through you. We are all holding you and your family in our thoughts today.




Burrito in Recovery

July 24th, 2015 by Diana

Today was Burrito’s big dentist’s appointment. A month ago, after we noticed he had fractured a lower canine tooth, he had an initial exam to help determine the course of action and his ability to withstand anesthesia. You can read about that exam in this blog post written by J.B.

The echocardiogram from his first procedure showed some cardiac disease, as expected, and confirmed that the treatment we have had him on for the last three years was appropriate.

Today, we owe a debt of gratitude to the chimps’ local veterinarian Erin Zamzow and tech Amanda Carner, veterinary dental surgeon Loic Legendre, his intern Adriana Regalado and veterinary technician Barbara Boyle, nurse anesthetist Kurt Smudzinski, CSNW volunteer Rebecca Smudzinksi, and the staff and volunteers who came as support crew. And we are so grateful to everyone who helped us fundraise for the clinic, allowing the chimpanzees to receive medical treatment at home.

One thing that we’ve learned about Burrito with these past two procedures is that he can tolerate A LOT of sedative and anesthetic drugs. Once he was finally completely sedated, he was in the skilled hands of the veterinarian team. The canine tooth that was recently fractured was extracted, and a front tooth that had been broken for some time was also pulled after reviewing x-rays taken on the spot.

Burrito tooth extraction

Right now, he has a whole circle of compassionate people watching over him (we feel your concern and caring too!)

compassion circle

Based on his quick bouncing back last time, we have no doubt that he’ll be back to his usual self, toy in mouth, with the girls in no time… just with two fewer teeth.

Burrito with toy in mouth

Burrito with blue stick in mouth

Burrtio with toy in mouth

Burrito with block in mouth on YH

If you’d like to add your support for Burrito and crew, we have a wishlist full of a variety of needed things that you can gift to the sanctuary, and / or you can make a donation in Mr. B’s honor. Thank you for all of your support!