May 13th, 2017 by Katelyn

It’s finally here! Our biggest fundraiser of the year, our annual Hoot! Gala and Spring Fling celebration! And while the humans are on their way to one of the most unique and exciting parties in the city, they aren’t the only people partying. The chimps are having their own celebration with a dinner of field roast and roasted sweet potato on a bed of lettuce and cabbage, sparkling cider, and a huge forage with sweet onions, corn on the cob, and fresh coconuts:

On this one day of the year, we have to get the chimps settled in earlier than usual so that staff working in the chimp house have time to get spiffed up and head to the gala. Routine and the comfort and security of knowing what to expect are important to the chimps and we don’t want to veer from that more than necessary or have them getting bored with a little more time on their hands, so a sure fire way to keep everyone active, happy and engaged is to set out an exciting forage cut into teeny, tiny pieces.

Annie sitting in a field of forage:

Burrito was beside himself, as usual when there’s food involved (that’s Jody behind him):

Jamie likes to drag a table around with her during forages for easier collection:

She decided to eat the field roast first and save the rest for later:

While Jamie was occupied elsewhere, Burrito bravely decided to steal her leftover dinner “boats.” I braced myself for Jamie to scream at the top of her lungs (her tactic when someone is touching – or even thinking about touching – something she doesn’t want them to), but she must have decided she found something else worth her attention and Burrito scooped them up without issue and food squeaked to celebrate:

Annie mid food grunt (you can just make out Negra’s ear as she sits in the sunny window below Annie enjoying her dinner with a view):

Jody, ever the adventurous foodie, was collecting corn cobs:

Foxie and Missy were ladies of the loft for this one and out of sight of the camera.

Anna, myself and volunteer, Helen, put the chimps’ dinner out a couple hours ago and Jamie is still foraging!

The chimps are completely silent as I write this so I just went to check on everyone. And who did I find, but this guy, fighting off a food coma in the last sun puddle of the day:

Somehow he mustered enough energy to still be an adorable goof:

But it was so hard:

There are some crazy amazing items of this guy (and more!) up for auction tonight. To all of you who have helped sponsor this amazing celebration, volunteers who have helped plan this party of all parties, to all those working to make it special for our guests, those who are attending the gala and making it so much fun, those who will be raising your paddles high or who have been pre-bidding online, and those of you cheering us on from home, there aren’t enough words of thanks to each of you for making everything that you do, possible. You make this sanctuary for these seven amazing chimpanzees a home. A home filled with love, comfort, joy, adventure and healing. And we hope a home for others, who are awaiting their day in their own sun puddles.

Hoots of love and gratitude from all of us to all of you! Have a fantastic evening and check in tomorrow for our celebration of Jody’s birthday and Mother’s Day! Yep, that’s how we roll in the chimp house…party, after party. Hopefully, Burrito is revived by then…

11 Responses to “Hoot!”

  1. Kathleen says:

    It looks like it was an awesome forage fest! Your photos, as usual, all amazing and the next best thing to being there. The photos of Burrito in his sun puddle, as you so poetically put it, are so adorable. And the thought of how lucky Burrito is to be able to bask in the warmth of the sun in his safe, comfortable home touches me deeply. How fortunate knowing that in the near future other chimpanzees will be equally lucky, surrounded in all of your love. CSNW has created a magnificent place to heal and blossom and grow, and to be part of a family.

    I look forward to the promise of more “hope, love, home” as your family expands……….

    And Happy Birthday to you beautiful Jody girl!! Looking forward to your birthday celebration tomorrow. XOXO

  2. Jo says:

    Fabulous as usual!! I’m so appreciative of all you do to make their days special and happy and fulfilled. It fills my heart with unbounded joy! Thank you so much for these pix ~ truly you are all such a blessing for the chimps ~ thank you, thank you, thank you ~ love and hugs to you all!

  3. Paula says:

    My partner Kris and a good friend are at the Hoot right now, I was unable to attend, but I know they are having a wonderful time. Today’s photos are wonderful, thank you for everything you guys do for this incredible group of chimpanzee friends.

  4. Paula says:

    I have a question, if for some reason Jamie was no longer head of the gang, who would step up as the new group leader? Is there an heir apparent? Of course, I hope nothing changes any time soon with the gang, and they just keep on with their happy lives one and all, just mostly curious what are your thoughts on this. I’ve seen Burrito strut his stuff around, but that doesn’t necessarily put him next in line does it? Thanks for the info.

    • Katelyn says:

      Hi Paula,
      That’s a good question! But with no apparent answer. 🙂 While alpha chimps are typically males, Burrito is pretty insecure in his abilities to communicate effectively and as you’ve seen, is either blustering around like a tornado making everyone angry, or turning his back and closing his eyes until others move away even if they are approaching him in a submissive manner. This is understandable given that he wasn’t raised by his mother and didn’t have the role modeling of his chimpanzee family (as is true for all of the chimps). And given his age, it’s unlikely he’ll develop the skills needed to become an effective leader at this stage. That said, the chimps’ roles and personalities are a bit dynamic as they change and grow and even under “normal” circumstances in the wild, the absence or introduction of any one chimp can shift things within the hierarchy. Generally speaking, Jody and Missy tend to be more dominant, but they have different approaches with Jamie. Where Jody will sometimes stand her ground in opposition to Jamie, Missy tends to serve as right-hand gal and back her up. Missy is very independent, but she is excellent at navigating chimpanzee politics! And then there’s Annie! She’s been considered the least dominant chimp in the group, but her moxie, courage and independence grows by the day (and often gets her into trouble). J.B. wrote a great blog on this topic awhile back: http://www.chimpsanctuarynw.org/blog/2017/02/negotiation/
      Chimp society can be really complicated, but a fascinating book if you are interested is “Chimpanzee Politics” by Frans de Waal.

      And we’re so thrilled that Kris had a great time at Hoot! Goat yoga and one of Foxie’s trolls, how does it get better than that?! Thanks so much to you both for making even more possible for these amazing chimps!

      • Paula says:

        Thank you Katelyn for that insightful response. Its amazing how far this group has come and how ever-changing the politics are. Every day’s blog entries are fascinating and the photos are wonderful. Foxy’s troll doll will always be cherished and when guests come over and wonder why that orange haired doll is on the mantle we can tell them all about Chimp Sanctuary and wonderful chimps who thrive there.

  5. Paula says:

    Ok, me again… Kris just came home from HOOT! totally excited and thrilled. It was a wonderful event, and she even won one of the Foxy troll doll door prizes!! We were both pant hooting at having this prized item! It will definitely be prominently displayed in our home. She will also be joining new friends for goat yoga, an item that was auctioned at the event. What a night! Thank you Foxy Chimpanzee for your generous donation of a few of your precious dolls, and for all the great humans at Chimp Sanctuary NW!

  6. Elaine Reininger says:

    How clever is Jamie using the table to put all her treasure on while shuffling it along as she gathered more. I use to do that at flea markets myself. And the pictures of goofy Burito were priceless–he looks like he had too much to drink at the party. How clever of you all to raffle off some of Foxie’s troll dolls — I am sure whoever went home with one thought they won the big jackpot of the night. I too would put it in a place of honor forever in my home. The photo of the party food was beautiful too

  7. Lorraine Gordon says:

    Burrito was very brave !!!!

  8. Barbara says:

    Love them so much. It makes me happy to see them happy. Happy Mother’s Day to the chimpanzee mothers even though they did not get to keep their babies.