Archive for the ‘Annie’ Category

How Many Chimps Do You See?

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

How many chimps are in this picture? Can you name them? Ready… Go!

Bonus photos!

Annie sitting on top of the Twister:


Missy eating snow:

Burrito taking a stroll with the ladies:

Jamie ready for a walk and Missy following behind:

Jody was on a mission (probably to find snow):

Jody and Foxie:

While everyone was outside Negra grabbed a bunch of blankets and took a nap:

Later, Jamie went out and sat on the Twister for a while:

Trying new things

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

The other day, after the PRT session that Elizabeth filmed, Jamie and I followed a typical post-PRT routine. Because I had spent the last fifteen minutes requesting that she do things, it was her turn to request that I do something (I’m pretty sure that Jamie believes it is ALWAYS time for the humans to do something for her, but I digress). So I put on her latest favorite pair of boots, we did a perimeter walk, and afterward we settled in for a grooming session in the greenhouse.

Jamie is easily the most dexterous chimpanzee I’ve ever known, and she’s a master at using tools. Her fine-motor ability is really quite impressive. Just watch this video of Jamie giving J.B. a “manicure” and read this story about her tool-altering skills and forethought.

It was just Jamie in the greenhouse, grooming my fingers and the boots, when Annie came over with a tool of her own.


For the first several years of Annie’s sanctuary life, she didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the humans – not because she wasn’t interested in us, but, I think, because she was a ball of anxiety, and she didn’t want to over-step her place in the social world of chimpanzees and humans. We have written many times on the blog about Annie’s ever-growing confidence in the last few years (for example, this touching post from Elizabeth).


We’ve witnessed all of the chimpanzees trying new things over the last nine+ years at the sanctuary. We’ve gotten to know them so well that when they do something new, it stands out. You may already be familiar with “Fake Neggie” – a nickname for Missy when she is adopting Negra’s quintessential blanket-over-head nesting style.


You may not know that there was a time a few years ago when Negra decided troll dolls were her thing too, carrying one with her from bed to meals to adventures on Young’s Hill.

It lasted for a few weeks, then the fad seemed to pass for Negra and she’s been mostly troll-less ever since, leaving the doll obsession to Foxie.


Jody is sometimes seen with troll dolls, and Annie tries them out once in a while too.


Imitation is an important part of observing and learning. J.B. wrote a blog post back in 2012 about how copying the behavior of others shouldn’t be dismissed as somehow intellectually unimpressive. It’s worth the read.


When Annie confidently walked towards me with her rather blunt tool and pushed it out through the caging to groom the boot I was wearing, my smile could not have been any bigger. She was clumsy and awkward with the over-sized tool she had chosen, but she gave it a go, even with boss Jamie sitting right there to watch.


Annie didn’t stay long, and I don’t think she had any kind of magical insight about why Jamie spends so much time engaging in this behavior.


To have an interesting and full life and to get a better idea of who you are, you have to try new things – even things you aren’t sure you will be good at doing. Annie seems to know this now. She’s 100% signed up for this sanctuary life, and I have no doubt she and her chimpanzee companions will continue to try new things, figuring out more about themselves and delighting and surprising us along the way.


Happy Birthday, Manuela!

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

I often marvel at the love the chimpanzees receive from friends and loved ones. To think they spent so many years unknown to so many and now they fill so many hearts and lives the world over. Manuela Santacreu sponsored this day of sanctuary as a gift for herself and Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra and sends this lovely message about today:

“Pour mon anniversaire, parce qu’il n’y a rien de plus beau que le bonheur simple de savoir ces chimpanzés heureux ! bravo à vous tous! ‘For my birthday, because there is nothing more beautiful than the simple happiness of knowing these happy chimpanzees! Congratulations to you all!'”

Manuela, thank you so much for sharing your celebration with the chimps! We appreciate the lasting difference your support makes in their lives. All of the primates here at CSNW wish you the happiest of days!


Annie hugging Missy:


Burrito and Jody:

Burrito and Jody with bamboo

Foxie and doll:

New Year’s Eve

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

New Year’s Eve is so exciting! The anticipation for the new year builds while everyone spends time with loved ones. Here at the Sanctuary we are getting ready for our New Year celebration tomorrow! As we reflect on the past and look forward to the future we thank everyone for helping the chimps to an ever expanding life! Here are some photos of how the day was spent! Though most of Jamie and I’s day was wearing boots and chasing from the playroom to the Hill!

Jamie making a nest with a boot in her pelvic pocket:

Jamie zipping up her boots:

Negra making her nest:

Sweet Annie:


In memory of Mikey

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

We are full of immense gratitude for the countless ways in which you all have contributed to the lives of the chimpanzees throughout 2017. As we ready to release one year and move forward into the flow of the next, how lovely and apropos is this, our last day of sanctuary sponsorship for the year, from Debi Domantay:

“All my life I’ve felt a deep passion for Nature & ALL animals with a particular interest in Chimpanzees, Gorillas & Orangutans… If I could relive my life, I’d certainly become a Primatologist. This donation is in memory of “Mikey” & ALL animals in need of being rescued from a life without dignity & respect.”

Debi, thank you so much for your heartfelt message and New Year’s Eve gift for the chimps in memory of Mikey. As we move into 2018 and our plans to begin expansion in order to not only improve the lives of the chimps, but to be able to offer others a sanctuary home, your thoughts couldn’t be more well-timed. A perfect gift in celebration of the New Year!

To those who celebrate at this time, Happy New Year’s Eve! And to all, may your days, months and years ahead each be better and more abundant in all the good ways than the last, just as you’ve made possible for the chimpanzees.








More love from Trish!

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

In her desire to do something special for the chimpanzees, Trish Loesch recently sponsored not one, but two days of sanctuary, with today being the second!

In the immediate sense, we’ve been watching the chimps enjoy so many joy-filled days this holiday season. Warm, yummy foods, heaps of the softest of blankets, new enrichment to spark their curious and intelligent minds, beloved favorites like boots and dolls, and all the comforts and joys we as humans enjoy as well.

And in the long-term, we’ve been watching the chimps step more fully each day into the freedom to make their own choices, the dignity that comes with being respected and appreciated just for who you are, the courage to explore and take new risks, and the comfort of being at peace in one’s own skin and own home. Those are no small gifts.

Trish, thank you for immensely for contributing to the ever-expanding ripple of love, compassion and generosity surrounding the chimps that not only makes their lives in sanctuary possible, but makes more than they may have ever dreamt, possible.







Missy sleeping in a big nest



Thank you, Trish!

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Trish Loesch sponsored not one, but two days of sanctuary for the chimpanzees this week and she shared this lovely message:

“I love reading the blog everyday and appreciate what you do for the chimps and I wanted to do something for them by sponsoring two days of sanctuary!” 

Trish, thank you so much for going out of your way to reach out and contribute to the chimps’ lives through your compassion and generosity. It’s hard to imagine their lives were ever anything less than the love filled days we see now and thanks to people like you, it’s all they will know for all their days forward.


Annie on twister



foxie tossing doll





Happy Birthday, Ashley!

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

A gift from one of our chimp house volunteers! Becca Hines sponsored a day of sanctuary for seven special chimps and one special human and shared this sweet message:

“Happy Birthday to my favorite human – Ashley Pittman! You are the Missy to my Annie and I am so happy you were born. Thank you for all you do and for being a wonderful friend. Here’s to many more birthdays together, for you and I AND Annie and Missy. <3”

Thank you for all you do for the chimps, Becca, and for always holding them in your heart! Ashley, we hope you have the happiest of birthdays yet!

Besties, Annie and Missy:

Remembering Bill

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

Nicki Walters sponsored this special Christmas Eve day of sanctuary in memory of her beloved husband, Bill, and she shared this touching message about today:

“This is my Christmas Present to my Sweet Willy Twist who is greatly missed. The Magnificent 7 always brought us so much joy and helped us find our smiles and give us reasons to laugh during several dark days. Even though he isn’t here to enjoy this day, I like to think he still looks on and watches them climb and romp around on his Twister! Merry Christmas to the Chimpazees and all who take such good care of them!”

Nicki, all of the primates here at the sanctuary are so fortunate to call you and Bill our friends. From our hearts, thank you for all you have, and continue, to contribute to making the chimps’ home a true sanctuary. Your amazing gift of Twister has brought so much joy and adventure to the chimps’ lives. It’s given boss lady, Jamie, a perfect vantage point from which to view her queendom and all the happenings in all the land:

It’s encouraged others to reach new heights of courage and daring (Burrito being VERY brave):

Foxie, Dora and Kate:

Foxie climb twister


Inspired chimpanzee shenanigans (Missy top, Annie below):

Annie and Missy top of Twister

Missy chasing Annie:

And is a daily reminder of all the love that surrounds the chimps and all the good people we get to call part of our chimp family.

Nicki, you and Bill are in our hearts and thoughts and we are sending you all the good thoughts for a season full of love, comfort and peace.

Sun, Snow, and Friends

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

We (finally) got a sprinkling of snow yesterday, so Anna and volunteer Becca filled up some buckets with the fluffy stuff and put them in the front rooms for the chimpanzees after we had finished cleaning.

It’s a gorgeous day today in central Washington. The sun came out early and has been shining bright all day. The snow on the ground catches the light and makes it look like the world is winking and sparkling.

snow sparkles


For Annie, today was the kind of day that you take a bucket of snow up to a window on the catwalk and enjoy the cold treat with the sun streaming onto your face.


And when her friends Jody and then Missy came by, she decided there was plenty to share:


Happy eve of Christmas Eve, everyone!