Archive for January, 2018

Burrito Chimpanzee in Black and White

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Continuing with the black and white/grey theme from Saturday, and thanks to comments on that blog post, I decided to truly embrace this way of seeing and capturing images by setting the camera to monochrome and finding out what might happen.

I had to climb a ladder in the greenhouse to get these photos, but Burrito willingly served as the most handsome subject anyone could hope to have.

I might just be in love with black and white.


Burrito wears it well.


Happy Birthday, Meg!

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Today was sponsored by wonderful friend of the chimps and humans, Meg Lunnum! Meg graciously chooses to celebrate her birthday each year with the chimpanzees and we couldn’t be happier than to be included in celebrating a human we are so happy to know is in the world. Meg shared this message about her day:

“I like to honor all the primates at Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW on my birthday. This year I would like to include some new, casual chimpanzee friends I met at the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee.”

Meg, many, many thanks to you for all you do not only for the Cle Elum 7, but for all animals far and wide! And thank you for sharing your new friends, Bo, Binti, Daisy, Jimbo, Debbie, George, Mwelu, and Ripley, with us! Our thoughts and hearts are with the staff, caregivers, and chimpanzee family at Knoxville Zoo over the loss of their beloved Debbie. We are honored to have a chance to learn about her and her family and to celebrate them along with you, Meg.

From all of us at CSNW, we hope you have the happiest of birthdays yet, Meg! And extra good wishes from your pals, Annie and Negra. We’re so lucky to call you our friend.


Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

We continue to be amazed by this spring-like winter we’re having in Cle Elum. Today’s sun has made the greenhouse nice and toasty for the chimpanzees. Volunteer caregiver Jake found the chimps in a grooming huddle up on the platform when he brought lunch out this afternoon, but they were happy to take a break to eat.

Is it Winter?

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

The chimps and I are still in disbelief that it is 42 degrees in January! Jamie and I have been going on nice leisurely walks (Missy did joined us but after a while she would sprint off). Missy has been out all day running everywhere, climbing on all the outdoor structures, and balancing on ropes. Annie and Missy enjoyed sometime together on the Hill playing follow the leader and wrestling in the Playroom. Foxie took her dolls outside and soaked in the warmer weather. Foxie and Jody later went far out on the Hill and explored together. I couldn’t catch Burrito in any photos but he also had been out and about on the Hill and of course played chase in the Green House! And Neggie made some very cozy nests today and laid near the Playroom windows to feel the warm sun shining in.

Missy running on Young’s Hill:


Annie staring out towards the Hill:


Jamie also running on the Hill with Missy:




The Beauty of Grey

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

As you probably know, we have an enrichment calendar that guides the volunteer or staff member who is putting together enrichment for the following day for the chimpanzees. It provides some sort of theme for the day, like “art day” or “troll scarves.” Sometimes it’s just a color, which causes us to dig through the enrichment bins and perhaps unearth that blue or red or green toy that hasn’t surfaced in a while.

I was laughing yesterday about the theme for today’s enrichment: Grey Day.

It is entirely appropriate, being that the outside world is on the grey spectrum today. Right before I opened the door to the hill to let the chimpanzees decide whether or not to venture out into the overcast day or stay inside, a bald eagle flew overhead. I was marveling at how majestic he was, gliding through the sky, unmistakable from other birds with his starkly contrasting white head with black wings.

This led me to wonder if perhaps I was thinking about Grey Day in an entirely unfair light (so to speak). Grey is beautiful. To prove it, just look at these black and white photos of the chimpanzees. Removing the distraction of color can be a special thing. With the photos of the chimps, I just want to study them a little bit longer, and I notice features that maybe I would overlook in the same photo saturated with color.

So, today, we embrace the grey.









The Magic of Winter

Friday, January 26th, 2018

For Missy, this truly is a magical time of year.

The Queen Needs Her Rest

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

We give the chimpanzees 70 clean blankets each day. I wouldn’t be surprised if Negra claims over half of those for herself. One of the perks of being the Queen…


Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

In general, the chimpanzees make difficult motion look so simple and easy. Here are just a few of my favorite photos of strength, flexibility, finesse, coordination, speed, and balance.

Foxie upside down

burrito end of plank 2

missy headstand in nest

Blowing off steam

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

It’s been a bit snowy outside today, but the stormy weather just means it’s time for a little indoor exercise!