Play All Day (while the humans work)

February 9th, 2018 by J.B.

Lately, Missy and Annie have been doing what they do best – playing all day!

Meanwhile, the humans have been busting their butts to move caging, glass, and other material from the former Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) at Central Washington University before its demolition.

The building had sat largely empty in the years since Tatu, Loulis, and many of the staff and students associated with Friends of Washoe moved from campus to the Fauna Foundation in Canada. When the university determined that the building would be torn down to accommodate construction of a new dorm, they agreed to remove as much reusable material as possible and donate it to CSNW for use in our upcoming expansion. (Click here for a video from local news channel KAPP about the donation). But a jump in the timeline for the building’s demolition meant we had to get the material out with little notice. Thankfully, an emergency call to our local supporters on Facebook was met with an enthusiastic response, and just days later we had trucks, trailers, and lots of manual labor lined up and ready to help. In only a few hours, we loaded thousands of pounds of caging, steel doors, and 270-lb chimp-proof windows…

…and then unloaded it all at the sanctuary.

Alan, an CSNW intern, made the mistake of volunteering on the day that we needed to manually unload the nearly 4,500-lb of glass from the trailer. He is young, however, and likely had the use of his arms the next day, unlike some of us.

Our expansion project has been full of frustrating setbacks throughout the permitting process – lately around the location and design of a new driveway we are required to put in – but we are getting closer! And when we do break ground, we will do so knowing that we will be putting this material to good use and saving thousands of dollars in the process. It is a small but significant part of CHCI’s legacy, and a great way to remember and honor the chimpanzees that taught us so much.

8 Responses to “Play All Day (while the humans work)”

  1. Cindy says:

    Yes, Washoe, Moja, Tatu, Lou and Dar will now always be a part of CSNW, sad and happy….all at the same time.

  2. elaine reininger says:

    How do you caretakers get anything done with all that silliness going on. The blanket bit at the beginning of this video was hilarious I guess Washoe, Moja, Tau, Lou and Dar were chimps long before my time of learning about you. First time I heard of these 5.

  3. Jackie says:

    Playing with a good friend is a great way to spend the day!

  4. Kathleen says:

    My love of chimps all began with Nim and then Washoe, Moja, Tau, Loulis and Dar. It sadden me deeply to hear the building is being demolished. I guess after Tatu and Loulis moved to Fauna I never thought of what would become of their old home. The chimps of Roger Fouts are such an important piece of history! I wish I had attended a Chimposium and met the sign language chimps — sigh. “Next Of Kin” is still one of my all time most favorite reads, I recommend it to everyone who has a passion for chimpanzees!!

    It is very fitting that Washoe, Moja, Tau, Lou and Dar’s surroundings become a part of CSNW. You are all so deeply connected. I have worried that their lives could someday be forgotten so moving that heavy load to CSNW seems like the perfect way of breathing new life into their story. And it is always such fun to follow Tatu and Loulis at Fauna Foundation!!

    Thanks for the hysterical video of the BFF’s! Touching that Missy and Annie are still such good buds after all these years. The “Gone Fishing” game with the blankets was the very best. Thanks for the laugh. And thanks for reminding me that friendships, especially old friendships, are worth holding on to, in any form. ❤️

    • Tobin says:

      Discovering “Next of Kin”, which led to my discovery of CSNW, literally changed my life. I am glad to that part of the university structure is going to be adapted to the expansion of the Cle Elum home. I wonder what, if any, present connection Roger and Debbie Fouts have to CSNW?

      • J.B. says:

        Hi Tobin,

        That book had a profound effect on me as well. Roger and Debbie are both retired and they moved to another part of the country so they don’t have any connection to CSNW at this time.

  5. Tobin says:

    Annie and Missy are so beautifully, perfectly silly.

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