Annie Evolving

May 21st, 2015 by Elizabeth

Annie was not brimming with confidence when she arrived at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. (This is an understatement.) She had a couple of things working against her: her position at the very bottom of the social hierarchy, and decades of history in research labs during which she lived in fear and frequent pain. She had every reason to believe that the world was not kind.

During her early days at the sanctuary, Annie had regular anxiety attacks. If she felt threatened by another chimpanzee, or sometimes for no discernible reason at all, she would throw herself on the ground while screaming and flailing. She was glued to her best friend Missy’s side, and would become noticeably agitated if they were separated. At the sanctuary she was given space to roam, other chimps to play with, nourishing food, and caregivers who adore her. But she was not at ease.

Fast forward almost seven years, and Annie is a different person.


She has shed her old demons and has been hard at work building a whole new Annie. This new Annie is filled with peace and joy and wonder. She plays with friends and stands up for herself during family disagreements and claps her feet and makes bird noises and is not afraid of solitude.


This new Annie greets the world with a glint in her eye.


10 Responses to “Annie Evolving”

  1. Lucinda says:

    What a wonderful post!

  2. Stephanie says:

    and she is beautiful!

  3. Jackie says:

    Great post! How wonderful that this lovely lady and the other chimps are able to find peace and comfort! Thank you to all the people that care for and help the chimps. You are truly special!!

  4. Kathleen says:

    “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than risk it took to BLOSSOM” ~ Anais Nin

    Welcome Annie to your new world! Embrace it and enjoy discovering the magic of being Beautiful Annie. Your courage inspires me.

    Thank you CSNW for providing Annie environment and the opportunity to blossom into the chimpanzee she really is — on her own terms, in her own time.

  5. Humphrey says:

    What a brave chimp. Love you Annie !

  6. Dalyce Kowalski says:

    I love seeing how much their worlds have changed since coming to CSNW – you should all be so proud.

  7. Jeani Goodrich says:

    Elizabeth, this is such an informative post. Thank you. It is hard to remember the old Annie when you see the new Annie enjoying life. Thank you to all those who cared enough to change her world for the better.

  8. Barb Engle says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. May her joy continue to grow.

  9. Joseph Garza says:

    What an inspirational story and a testament to the strength of these wonderful animals when given the chance to thrive and reach their full potential. Thank you CSNW for all that you do in this endeavor for sharing their stories.

  10. qcheryl says:

    What a joyful post! I love to read how the chimpanzees are continuing to come into their own, relaxing and trusting, accepting that this new life is real and permanent. It encourages me to continue doing what I can to make sure CSNW is able to continue its work.