When former CSNW Executive Director Sarah Baeckler left the organization early last year for her new position as Director of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, she couldn’t bring herself to say goodbye to the chimpanzees. So even though she and her family relocated to Portland, she stayed on as a volunteer caregiver and drives up to the sanctuary regularly to help clean enclosures and hang out with her chimpanzee friends. As you can see from these photos taken this morning, they’re always happy to see her.
As you may have read this morning, thanks to the compassion and generosity of our friend and supporter, Monica Best, today is our fifth annual Love a Chimpanzee Day! So of course, a party was in order! The chimpanzees had a lunch forage with pomegranate juice in fancy cups, cantaloupe, corn, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes and grapes in gift boxes, and whole heads of lettuce (the hit of the party!).
Annie did quite well for herself:
Missy was a little more elusive and chose to enjoy the celebration from the stairs:
Burrito was the charmer of the party, as usual:
Here is he watching his buddy, Foxie, stroll by:
Foxie continuing her forage:
And finding a mouthful of cantaloupe:
And of course the boss of the party, Jamie, made sure to enjoy herself with an armload of lettuce, food grunting the entire time:
Still food grunting with delight:
Jamie is serious in pretty much all she does. Even when there’s a party going on. Though she may have slipped into what we endearingly refer to as her “party police” role and suggested the paparazzi leave the event, I can assure you she was pretty happy with the Love a Chimpanzee Day happenings!
Negra and Jody both grabbed a couple heads of lettuce and made themselves scarce, preferring to celebrate in solitude. But I think it’s safe to say everyone had a great time. Thank you so much, Monica, for loving the chimpanzees and honoring them with such a special day!
Five years ago, our long time supporter, Monica Best, lovingly crowned April 23rd as “Love a Chimpanzee Day” and has sponsored this day for the chimpanzees every year since! And given the fact that today also happens to be Monica’s birthday, it’s even more incredible that she would create a special day in honor of the chimpanzees! In keeping with the celebration of some very special beings, Monica shared that she would also like today’s day of sanctuary to be in memory of her grandmother, Dorothy, and our dear friend, Dr. Mel Richardson.
Monica, thank you so much for honoring the chimpanzees in such a special way! May all the love and kindness you share with others come back to you tenfold. And from all of the primates here at CSNW, we wish you the happiest of birthdays! We hope your day is a Negra style celebration of life with a cozy nest to lounge and nap in, and good treats that make you food squeak.
Maybe it’s just me but I find chimpanzee mouths to be pretty captivating. Not only are they particularly expressive but they are also exceptionally useful. Chimpanzees have prehensile lips which Debbie described beautifully in this past blog post. That means that mouths are just as good, if not even better than, hands and fingers for tool use and object manipulation. In fact, it can be downright splendid to watch the chimpanzees use their lips with such precision and finesse whether it’s for exploration, grooming, play, or food related.
I will admit that we went a little over the top for today’s Easter party, but it just kind of happened. A couple of days ago we got a delivery of three (large!) boxes of Easter party supplies and favors from supporter Jayne R. It was everything we needed to throw the chimpanzees an amazing Easter party. And then this morning volunteer caregivers Stephanie and Patti showed up for their shift in the chimp house with their arms weighed down with piñatas, veggies, and other goodies. The chimps really do have the best friends, near and far.
We started the morning with a party in the greenhouse. The piñatas, as always, were a hit.
Jamie had to lie on her belly in the hammock to reach the piñata hanging underneath, but it was worth the effort:
Negra loved the treat tubes and other enrichment that Jayne sent:
Missy did, too:
Foxie checked out the new goods:
and found a new Dora the Explorer! Thanks, Jayne!
Foxie took Dora for a stroll on Young’s Hill:
Negra was more interested in the veggies we “planted” in the ground all over the hill:
Jody harvested a carrot from the treat rock:
Her arms were so full that she had trouble managing her haul, and had to stop every few feet to regroup:
But she worked it out:
Thanks again to Jayne, Patti, and Steph. Happy Easter, everyone!
One super cool and unique auction item we have for Hoot! is the opportunity to photograph the chimpanzees with a lesson from professional photographers Karen Ducey and Dean Rutz, using long telephoto lenses and other professional-grade equipment! This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!
Maybe the winner will be able to catch some photos like these of the first elusive, then charming Foxie with her troll dolls on Young’s Hill:
Jamie really cleaned up in today’s breakfast forage. We put out whole apples and she was absolutely beside herself—carrying them around in hand and in foot. Thankfully the other chimps were able to get some as well—I posted photos of Annie, Burrito, and Missy on their Facebook pages. I saw Foxie and Jody with some too but couldn’t get a good photo. And Negra? Well, she was preoccupied with the peanuts that were scattered around. Not surprising at all
There are a lot of non-profit organizations doing incredible work who have wonderful supporters, but, let’s just collectively acknowledge that Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest supporters are the best.
Without volunteers, donors, and people telling their friends about the sanctuary, we wouldn’t be able to provide a home for chimpanzees. YOU make the chimpanzees happy everyday.
I’m in the midst of preparing for the Hoot! Gala – mailing out tickets, thanking donors, uploading items to our preview site, and getting sponsor ads ready for the Hoot! Passport.
I’m thinking about all of the people who are supporting the event in all these ways, and at the same time I know that there are volunteers all over Seattle and beyond working late nights getting the booths ready, making silent auction boards, picking up donations, inviting their friends to be guests at their tables, and organizing event volunteers. I am blown away by the time, the dedication, the heart, and the money that people put into Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Thank you all!
And speaking of time, dedication, heart, and money – go check out the Hoot! Gala preview site right now. I just uploaded a big batch of new items this afternoon, and have a few more to add in the next week.
Two that I’m excited about that are not yet on the preview site are a New Mexico getaway that includes a two-night stay at Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza and handmade, palm oil free soaps from the inspirational Brandon Wood of Make a Chimp Smile!
There are some really awesome Getaways (Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Leavenworth, and more); lots of Just for Fun items (a snowboard, an Owl Prowl adventure for 25, and your chance to photograph the chimpanzees with cool equipment and the expertise of professional photographers!), gift certificates to some of the best Restaurants in Seattle; Wine and wine tastings for you and your best friends; small batch distillery Liquor; Jewelry to die for (do people still say that?); and then there’s my favorite category (aside from Give a Hoot!) – Art.
Below are a few art items that are on the preview site. You can probably guess why I chose these. You really should check out all of the Hoot! items currently uploaded.
“Burrito Play” oil painting by Margaret H. Parkinson:
“Missy” graphite drawing by Nancy Lewis:
“Ms. Foxie” handcrafted artisan clay tile by Maggie Rascal Creations:
“Best Friends” photo transfer and acrylic paint on wood by Stephanie Perciful
“A Dream for Apes Mask #18″ by Dominique Jacot