Archive for January, 2011

Noisy Burrito

Monday, January 31st, 2011

As explained in Elizabeth’s post a couple of weeks ago, Burrito doesn’t play with toys too often, but as you will see in the video below, he’s really been liking these popper toys these days! He played with this toy for at least an hour today. This video of Jamie and the popper toy comes to mind.

Jamie and Foxie’s wild play

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

The chimpanzees all have different comfort levels when it comes to intensity of play. Jody and Negra, for example, engage in play less frequently and less boisterously than some of the other chimps. When Foxie and Jamie get together, though, they completely let loose. There’s lots of stomping, slapping, and (play) biting. This morning they spent about 20 minutes running around the playroom like maniacs.

New benches! + What’s with all the reassurance?

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

J.B. has already applied his new welding skills by fabricating two new awesome benches for the playroom. Thanks to Barb from Ohio for aiding in the project by “adopting” J.B. and purchasing the workshop heater from our wish list.

The video below mentions reassurance, which is really common among chimpanzees. This simplifies what can be complex behavior, but, in general, asking for reassurance can be a submissive or peacekeeping behavior, or it can be a way to ask, “are you on my side?” Giving reassurance can be saying, “everything’s okay between us” or “yep, I’ve got your back.”

In the first instance in the video, Jamie is submitting to Burrito and Burrito accepts her submission by doing a quick arm over gesture as he runs by. Looking at this 2 sec interaction in isolation, you might suspect that Burrito was dominant to Jamie, but looking at their interactions overall, that’s not the case. It could be that Jamie just wanted to acknowledge Burrito’s display but let Burrito know she wasn’t interested in starting any trouble with him, so she could get to work looking for food.

In the second instance in the video, Foxie is being submissive to Negra, probably not because Foxie thinks that Negra is going to start something, but because Foxie is respectful of those who are higher ranking and often plays the role of peacekeeper, keeping the group calmer by giving reassurance to whoever seems excited.

Chimpanzees are a bit tightly wound in general, and a high arousal situation such as a great food forage can quickly turn into a fight. So, in any high arousal situation, chimpanzees will be doing a lot of asking for and giving reassurance, even if the situation is a happy occasion. Sometimes the exchange of reassurance is more just a sharing in the excitement of the moment than a submissive or dominant behavior.

Adding a photo to your comments

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Hey regular blog commenters – did you notice when I make a comment on the blog now there’s a little photo of me and Missy in the corner? You too can upload a photo of yourself so other regular commenters can see what you look like, who your favorite celebrity is, or whatever else you want to show. The first step is to sign up through Gravatar. Go to this website: and click on the “Get your Gravatar today” button. Be sure to use the same email address that you use when signing into the blog to comment. Then follow the steps for confirming your account and uploading your chosen image. Once Gravatar says you’re done, the next time you comment on this blog, your image should show up next to your comment. At least that’s how I remember it working. Let me know if I missed something.


Friday, January 28th, 2011

A quick clip of two friends sharing a quiet moment together:

CareerBuilder Super Bowl Commercial

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Join our Primate Patrol list to receive future action alerts and be sure to “like” the Primate Patrol page on Facebook.

Colin Redmon recently designed a new logo for Primate Patrol –

Primate Patrol logo

The alert copied below was originally posted on the Primate Patrol website December 14, 2010:

Primate Patrol has received the disappointing news that CareerBuilder plans to air another commercial during the 2011 Super Bowl featuring chimpanzees. CareerBuilder has already aired commercials in 2005 and 2006 that portrayed chimpanzees as misbehaving office employees. Despite a growing public awareness about the ethical problems with using chimpanzee “actors” in entertainment, CareerBuilder still plans on airing this new commercial.

Please send a polite letter to CareerBuilder asking them not to air this commercial. Your letters can make a difference – just this year, two large companies, Dodge and Pfizer, chose to alter their commercials that featured live ape “actors” and pledged to never use primates in advertising again after hearing from concerned advocates.

Let them know that chimpanzees cannot be trained for entertainment by positive reinforcement alone, and brutal training practices in the entertainment industry are well documented. Remind them that in addition to welfare concerns, using chimpanzees in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts of free-living chimpanzees.

You may send your letter to the CEO of CareerBuilder, Matt Ferguson at

You can also view this alert on PETA’s action webpage.


See also an alert sent out this week about a poll for the “Super Bowl Favorite Simian Spot.” You can comment on the poll’s page and add your vote for the sock monkey commercial (#6), which did not exploit any primates.

Sippin’ for the Seven Benefit

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

It’s time for our third annual Sippin’ for the Seven wine tasting benefit!

I sent out an announcement today to our local list, which can be viewed and shared online.

We have a venue change this year to a bigger and beautiful space – Swiftwater Cellars at Suncadia Resort.

As you know if you’ve been to past CSNW events, we tend to sell out, so I advise that you get your tickets right away.

Here are the basics:

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Swifterwater Cellars, Suncadia Resort, 301 Rope Rider Drive, Cle Elum, WA

For full details visit the event page and be sure to check in on the Facebook page too – Facebook makes it easy to invite your friends.

If you’re unable to attend, please consider giving a donation.
We’ll send you a wine glass if you donate $40 or more!

We love Sippin’ !

Seeing green(s)

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Food is serious business to Burrito Chimpanzee and today he was seeing green. It’s been an unseasonably warm day today, so the greenhouse was a luxurious 60 degrees or so. We set up a huge lunch forage out there– I think Burrito was very happy with this decision.

Burrito expands his horizons

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

It’s always fun to catch one of the chimpanzees doing something he or she doesn’t usually do. Burrito doesn’t engage in much self-directed play with toys or objects. He’ll pick up a wooden block to chew on, or pass a scarf to a caregiver for a game of tug of war, but he doesn’t seem much interested in toys for their own sake. Today, though, he found a toy he couldn’t get enough of. I had to stop filming eventually, but he entertained himself for quite awhile.