Archive for the ‘Annie’ Category

Country chimps

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Chimpanzee sanctuaries naturally tend to be in rural areas. And as you might imagine, for chimpanzees who have spent the majority of their lives to date in biomedical research, finding themselves exploring their outdoor habitats in the country can bring enrichment in all manner of forms.

This morning was beautiful, the grass is a brighter shade of green with each passing day and the chimps love pouring out onto the hill after breakfast to play and investigate things. Foxie took Dora (with a windswept coif) along this morning and decided to take in the surroundings in a quiet spot while deciding where her morning adventure would begin:

Annie and Missy came tumbling up the hill together and Foxie decided to follow them further up toward the structures:

As Jamie and I were walking along the perimeter together, I noticed Foxie in the background suddenly stick Dora in her mouth and with a determined look head quickly across the hill toward the fence, on a mission.

Then I realized what her mission was probably about. “Intruder” cows who needed to be run off! (Meanwhile, Annie – in the foreground – was happily picking spring grass and could have cared less about the cows):

But fierce Foxie wasn’t having it and Jamie quickly backed her friend up to chase the cows down the hill. These sweet calves belong to our neighbor and are currently grazing a portion of our property. Can you imagine what the cows’ perspective must be when they first see the chimps? Scanning their mental repertoires of possible fellow animals and thinking, “Squirrels? No…Dogs? No…Horses? No…What???”:

Notice Annie still just going about her business 🙂 :

Annie looking after Jamie, Foxie and the cows, as they all ran by, probably trying to figure out what all the hullabaloo was about:

Ladies of leisure

Monday, April 24th, 2017

After the chimps (even Negra!) spent a busy morning on Young’s Hill foraging for wild greens, exploring, playing, and guarding the perimeter against new intruders (neighbor cows), it’s been a pretty leisurely afternoon at the sanctuary. With warming temperatures, fresh air through open windows and doors, and a sun-drenched greenhouse, these ladies were soaking it all in.




8th Annual Love a Chimpanzee Day

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

We love made-up holidays around here (holiday = party for the chimps). For the last 8 years, the chimps’ good friend Monica Best has sponsored April 23rd as Love a Chimpanzee Day. (It also happens to be Monica’s birthday!) Unless you’ve followed our blog for awhile, you probably haven’t heard of Love a Chimpanzee Day; that’s because it didn’t exist until Monica dreamed it up.

To celebrate CSNW’s 8th Annual Love a Chimpanzee Day, we decided to throw a luau party, because there’s never a bad time to throw a luau party for chimps you love. The chimps enjoyed a feast of bananas, oranges, fruit smoothie, and pineapple coconut water for breakfast in the greenhouse.



(Burrito was especially happy to see former volunteer caregiver Stephanie, who stopped by for a visit!)





(Annie really had lounging down to an art today…)

Thanks as always to Monica for conceiving of and sponsoring this delightful holiday (and happy birthday)!

Four Reasons to HOOT!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Here are four reasons to join us at HOOT! on May 13th at Sodo Park in Seattle.

These photos were taken today as the chimpanzees explored and enjoyed their home. Take a moment on this Earth Day to appreciate their happiness.

Their sanctuary life is only possible with the support of so many people out there, and our annual gala plays a big role in raising funds for their care and our exciting plans for the future.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets to HOOT! yet, don’t delay – buy them now! If you are unable to attend, we’ll miss you, but you can still take part by making a donation. We’ll also have just a few items available for bidding online – details coming soon.


hoot logo


Annie eating fresh spring grass:

annie eating grass


Burrito taking a brief break from foraging for lunch:

handsome burrito


This is a very contented face on Jamie:

Jamie happily sitting


Jody has the best drooped lip face!

Jody with drooped lip

Happy Earth Day! Thank you for helping us grow!





For Earth Day and the chimpanzees!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

This day was sponsored by Debbie Bloom in honor of the chimpanzees and this beautiful Earth we all share. She shares this lovely message about today:

“In honor of Earth Day it seems appropriate to celebrate all of these beautiful creatures. They bring such joy and intrigue into our lives – especially mine. I only wish that I could read their minds.” 

Debbie, on this day in which we’re given a special opportunity to honor and celebrate this amazing earth, and to protect and preserve all we cherish, we love that you’ve chosen to include the chimps. Thank you so much for honoring the special individuals they are and all they bring to our lives just by being themselves.

There is so much to love on this earth. Especially these seven chimpanzees. Safe, thriving and loved in a beautiful world to call their own, thanks to each of you.









Friday, April 21st, 2017

Annie was kind enough to let me take some photos of her in the greenhouse this afternoon during lunch. In close, tight shots like these, my attention is often drawn towards some of the differences between us – notice her protruding brow ridge, her flat nose, her elongated palms and fingers, her small thumbs, and her opposable big toes. Of course, you can’t help but notice the similarities as well – her eyelashes, her fingernails, the wrinkles in her skin.

Later, I found Jamie sitting in the “portrait studio” area and she was gracious enough to let me photograph her for a while. One notable difference between humans and chimps is that most chimpanzees have dark sclera – that’s the portion of the eye surrounding the pupil and iris. There’s something about the contrast provided by the dark sclera that makes the iris almost glow in a certain light.

In honor of Bryan Pease

Friday, April 21st, 2017

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Kery Shaw and Terran Baylor in honor of their friend, Bryan Pease! They shared this special message about their kind gift:

“Bryan is a good friend who advocates for animals and humans. Although, his birthday was April 8th, today activists around the world are speaking out for animals in laboratories. Today we honor Bryan who has been a huge voice for animals in labs, we honor the animals, especially the seven chimps at CSNW. Bryan is one of the top rated civil rights attorneys in San Diego and has met the stringent selection criteria of the national rating agency SuperLawyers. He is a public interest attorney focusing on government transparency and accountability, freedom of speech and assembly, and environmental, animal and consumer protection. In the June 2016 California primary election, over 23,000 registered Democrats voted for Bryan to be their San Diego County Democratic Central Committee delegate, giving him the most number of votes in the county out of 73 candidates across six state assembly districts. Bryan has fought for many San Diegans who would not be able to afford an attorney if it weren’t for Bryan’s pro bono work. For his entire legal and professional career, Bryan has worked tirelessly defending the public interest. He has successfully fought for environmental and consumer protection, defended against employment and housing discrimination, and enforced the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. In addition to running his own law firm, Bryan has taught as an adjunct law professor, inspiring law students to pursue public interest law. Bryan also regularly provides pro bono legal services to homeless veterans and small nonprofit organizations. Bryan has also served as a board member of Ocean Beach Peoples Co-Op from 2008-2015, OB’s largest employer, and for the past 10 years, he has been the volunteer executive director of a nonprofit thrift store in San Diego that benefits animal and environmental protection causes.” We love you Bryan! Love Kery & Terran.”

Kery and Terran, thank you for adding to the chimpanzees’ lives by celebrating such an inspirational human as Bryan and for always holding the chimpanzees in your hearts. To you both, as well as Bryan, thank you for all you do for our fellow humans and animals and for making the world a better place for us all!




Jamie, Missy, Burrito, Annie and Foxie:

Annie and Missy:


jody leek



Easter 2017 Part II

Monday, April 17th, 2017

The day after the big celebration the chimpanzees have been napping, resting and eating light, recovering from yesterday’s all day party! As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, here are a few photos from the first Young’s Hill forage of the year (aka Easter Party #2):

Annie picking carrots we “buried” for the chimps to harvest:

Jody and Negra (Negra was ALL over the place! It was her day 🙂 ):

Jody finds a quiet spot to enjoy her spoils:

Missy scored on corn:

Foxie and Dora on the hunt for Easter eggs filled with nuts and berries:

Boss lady, Jamie, thrilled with her beloved leeks:

And a bonus video of Easter shenanigans from the breakfast forage:

Spring, storms, this and that.

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Springs storms are rolling through the area today and in typical fashion we go from sun, to cold wind, to rain, to hail and back to sun.

But spring hail (if you live in Cle Elum :)) brings the first tiniest of spring flowers:

No matter the weather, Missy asks to have the barn doors at the end of the playroom open and checks the garden every day!

And every time we open them up for the chimps to have a peek, it creates quite a ruckus and Missy is thrilled. She and Missy immediately began chasing each other around the playroom, laughing:

Jamie was keeping a close eye on the approaching storms from the chimp house windows after an aborted attempt at walking around the hill. She left me standing half way up on the windy hillside calling after her as she high-tailed it back to the greenhouse. Maybe she’s becoming a fair weather chimp?

It’s been a quiet afternoon with the unpredictable weather and the chimps have mostly congregated together in the toasty greenhouse to groom. If you are new to chimpanzee behavior, grooming is extremely important in chimp society. It’s a way to clean themselves and one another as well as to attend to any wounds, but it’s primary importance is that of building and maintaining their bonds with one another. Chimps use grooming to build relationships in the hierarchy and “get in good” with the more dominant chimps, it’s how they maintain bonds with friends, it’s how they soothe and calm each other and it’s how they make up after a fight. And here at CSNW, sometimes the chimps will choose to include their caregivers in their grooming. The chimpanzees relationships with one another are always the priority, but it’s always special when they include us.

Missy likes to groom herself with a small stick (seen here grooming her own arm) and invited me to do the same. For safety reasons we never allow our fingers to pass through the caging and the chimps know that if they want us to groom them or give them a knuckle rub, they have to press their body against the caging. You can’t see it here, but I am only using my forefinger and thumb to hold the tool – we keep as many fingers as we can tucked back for safety…That leg!

Here Annie (using her lips on her arm) and Jody are self-grooming:

Burrito was resting in the corner while Foxie groomed him, but he eventually moved down to groom with Jody:

The chimps have been loving the greenhouse today and even after an exciting dinner forage of roasted onions, pears, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes, they all took their evening enrichment of peanut butter in containers out to the greenhouse to enjoy. This is pretty unusual because they are typically building their night nests about this time. Keri and I said goodnight and received “crickets” in response. 🙂 Goodnight chimps! Goodnight friends of chimps!

Today’s happenings

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Hands down, today is the loveliest day we’ve seen in quite some time. The air is fresh and the with only a slight breeze. The chimps have been enjoying themselves with a variety of choices today, from roaming Young’s Hill throughout the day to nesting and grooming in the toasty sun-warmed greenhouse, to crazy games in the playroom.

Foxie began her day by tossing her new France Dora doll on her back (this is how chimp mamas carry their young) and heading up Young’s Hill for a morning stroll:

Missy has been asking for weeks to have the barn doors at the end of the playroom open so she can see if the garden popped up overnight yet. We usually give her a quick peek, but it’s still too cold to leave them open for more than a few minutes. But today was the first time it was actually warm enough to leave them open for about an hour so the chimps enjoyed sitting in the sun and watching Keri begin garden preparation!

Missy took a break from garden duty to head over for a game of ghost tug o’ war with me. You know that game, right? Put a blanket over your head and play tug o’ war? And then stand on your head, of course (Missy, not me!).

Of course, Jamie made sure to supervise Keri with all those tools (someone had to):

Jody enjoyed snoozing in a sun puddle:

And I think dear, sweet Annie summed up the day best for all of us as she closed her eyes and lifted her face to the sun: