Busy mornings

November 29th, 2017 by Anna

The majority of the action at the sanctuary happens all before lunch! We use this time every day to clean each area thoroughly, asking the chimpanzees to shift from one section of the building to another. Once the chimpanzees have all vacated an area (usually convinced by the prospect of breakfast or snacks), the lead staff member of the day closes all the chimpanzee doors leading to an area using a remote controlled lever and lock system. We follow this by performing safety double checks to ensure that an area is chimp-free and doors are properly closed and locked. Only then can we enter an area for cleaning.

We started today by serving the chimpanzees some smoothie and peanuts so we could get the greenhouse area closed off for cleaning. Intern Kailie is training to be a level 3 caregiver (someone that serves meals and can interact safely with the chimpanzees). Staff member Elizabeth was training her this morning.

Once we knew we could safely enter the greenhouse, we unlocked the area and got to work!

We always switch out dirty blankets and enrichment for clean items.

And we do any necessary scrubbing!

Jamie usually acts as supervisor through one of the windows:

We put out 70 fresh blankets a day, so that means we do laundry all day long! Here’s intern Samantha keeping our washer going:

After the greenhouse cleaning comes the rest of breakfast. Today it was apples, pineapple, primate chow, and vitamins:

The lead staff member does a series of safety checks before the chimpanzees can get access to Young’s Hill in the morning. Here is Burrito entering the raceway to the outdoor enclosure first thing this morning:

Then on to cleaning the playroom! We always appreciate happy interns like Amanda!

After the playroom is scrubbed, rinsed, squeegeed, and locked, the lead staff member lets the chimpanzees have access back to their fresh clean area. This morning the chimps enjoyed a forage of nuts. Missy found the pineapple top we also put out.

Then comes more safety checks to enter the front rooms. Here Kailie checks to make sure a door lever is closed and locked:

It was about this time that Jamie decided she was ready for her first walk around Young’s Hill. She had me put on these ankle boots today:

Then we set out for a walk accompanied by Missy:

Meanwhile, our hardworking interns finished cleaning the front rooms. Locking and double checking all the doors is the last step in the process:

We are so lucky to have such amazing volunteers and interns! We couldn’t do it without them or our amazing supporters! Yesterday was Giving Tuesday and we exceeded both our goals for the day! There is just so much love and support that surrounds these seven chimpanzees!

9 Responses to “Busy mornings”

  1. Chris says:

    Well of course you have to have a supervisor…how else would the cleaning get done properly? 🙂 During the summer months do you ever hang out the blankets on clotheslines to dry? I was just thinking they would dry so quickly in that dry, windy, heat you have. 🙂 And does Jamie ever want the boots that you all wear around to clean, etc. or is she satisfied with the stash of boots she already has?

    • Anna says:

      We definitely dry our enrichment outside during the summer! We have tried the blankets outside too, but it’s sooo windy that they blow right off the clotheslines. Jamie is pretty interested in all boots and shoes (including the cleaning ones). The rubber cleaning boots aren’t safe for the chimps to have, so we just get to keep modeling them for her 🙂

  2. Donna Oleksiuk says:

    Wow!!! You folks work SO hard!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. It fills me with happiness to know the Cle Elum 7 are loved and cared for in such a wonderful way. I am so grateful for your kindness and compassion. Glad you were able to raise a lot of money!!

  3. Kathleen says:

    Big thanks to Kailie, Samantha, Amanda for working so hard (and with big smiles too!) to keep the Cle Elum Seven’s environment in tip top shape! I always enjoy these “behind the scenes” posts, a good reminder that it’s not all fun, walks, boots and trolls. Your volunteers, interns and staff care givers (past and present) are such amazing people. They make the sanctuary a cozy, safe, clean, comfortable HOME. Thank you all!!

  4. Jo Lathrop says:

    BRAVO to you all! U do an amazing job and it shows in how happy and enriched the chimps are!! Very very special place and people (including the 7) BRAVO!! Hugs to you all….

  5. Paula says:

    Great post and thank you for the love and dedication for the 7. Could you guys do a video of the safety and control lock system? It’s fascinating to see the behind the scene routine and it would be awesome to see the workings of the levers and maybe the kitchen during food prep, and how much food it takes each day to keep them healthy and full. Much love to all the people who work so hard for CSNW.

  6. elaine reininger says:

    I really enjoyed this behind-the-scenes tour. We never think about all the work that goes into caring for these lucky Chimps. You are all A M A Z I N G people. The sanctuary tour showed how colorful the walls are and how immaculate it is kept. I have a beloved 16 year old Yorki with kidney problems and am picking up urine all over the house daily, cleaning sheets and blankets etc but I do it all with a loving heart as I treasure every day I still have him but I can empathize with all your laundry and cleaning chores

  7. Merle says:

    What an amazing organization. It is an honor to support you. Hugs and Hoots to you and the Chimps.

  8. Chris says:

    Thanks for the reply Anna! Wow! That is windy! Hey, we’re still waiting on the answer of the blog post…”Do You Know”! 🙂 Who’s Who?

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