Archive for the ‘Dolls’ Category

The many uses of enrichment

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

The chimps are not known for being gentle with the enrichment they receive. Many of the toys they get each day have a primary use (to be examined and played with) and a secondary use (to be destroyed by any means possible). I imagine there’s something pretty enjoyable about making a huge pile of fun destruction and then have housekeeping come in every morning so you can do it all over again.

A different doll for Foxie!

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Foxie goes through phases where she takes special interest in one of her dolls. When it’s not being tossed playfully to caregivers, this purple haired doll has been by her side for weeks:

It’s pretty different than her usual loves, not a Dora or a troll doll, but something that we’ve never seen before. After a little bit of investigation, we found out that she’s a Strawberry Shortcake doll! We’re excited for Foxie to be branching out a little bit and for all the fun shopping that comes with it (this doll has friends with many different colors of hair after all)!

Some Days are Just Silly

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

It was all fun and games today at CSNW! This morning I was greeted with breathy pants, grooming (Burrito & Neggie grooming one another), and chimps playing games of chase with each other (Annie, Missy, & Foxie). Jamie made a few of the staff and level 3 volunteers try on boots and after finding the right pair she couldn’t contain her excitement and took off for a game of chase!

Annie: Grooming her leg and secretly watching Burrito play chase

Annie: Later in the day enjoying kale from the garden

Missy: Hanging out in the greenhouse

Jody: Taking it easy and soaking in the warm sun

Foxie: Carrying her dora doll around

Burrito found a sweatband and put it on to play chase. Burrito put it on his head as captured in the photos, but he also put it around his wrists and ran around like crazy!

Burrito: Thinking about wearing the sweatband

Burrito: Putting the sweatband on, but still holding his wooden toys

Burrito: Playing chase

Burrito: Playing chase with volunteer Erin and the sweatband over his face


Never Assume

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

When training new volunteers and staff, learning to identify the chimps is very important. The chimps all have distinguishing features about them. Staff will try to give helpful pointers to help figure out who is who. For example, Foxie has what looks like a bow tie on her swelling, some chimps have defined brow ridges like Jody, and Missy is petite and has a short neck. Some have freckles, permanently crazy bed hair, different body types, and others have scars or pieces of ears or toes missing. There is also the way that they carry themselves. Jamie often walks with confidence and always looks like she is 3 steps ahead of you. You can often find certain chimps in a particular area that they like or holding specific enrichment they are fond of. For example, Negra loves to make a nest on the second floor in the corner of the playroom. However, this is where it gets tricky and why we tell staff and volunteers to judge only by physical characteristics and not by what we know they like or where “their spot” is. I have also seen little Miss nesting in the same spot as Negra! Jamie loves boots and Foxie always has a doll with her, but they like to throw us curve balls! I often find someone else holding a doll like Jamie or even today I spotted Negra holding a troll doll and putting it in her pelvic pocket. We train our staff and volunteers to take their time identifying the chimps, get to know the chimps, and especially their physical characteristics!

Negra: Holding a troll doll

Moments of comfort

Monday, August 7th, 2017

After experiencing over 30 years of deprivation, it never ceases to amaze me (or make my heart burst) to see the chimpanzees so fully embrace a life of comfort in their own unique ways. It physically hurts my heart to think of all they went without for so long and makes each moment of joy and comfort for them all the more meaningful.

The chimps recently received some new SUPER fluffy fleece blankets and they adore them. They look as though they are floating on clouds sitting in their nests, the blankets sometimes as high as their chests. We found two super voluptuous nests this morning while cleaning the playroom. Despite Jamie’s aversion to snakes, she really loves to incorporate the stuffed toy snakes into her nests:

Jamie (we assume) decided to use a chopstick to remove a washer from somewhere yet to be discovered. She is far too smart for our own good:

This beauty was spread out over the catwalk:

Beautiful Annie lounging:

Jody in particular loved the new blankets (naturally) and frequently rubbed her head and face against them:

Jody’s sweet feet in a cloud of fluff as she napped this morning:

Seeing the chimps surrounding themselves in comfort will never grow old.

That one!

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Foxie has a ton of dolls to choose from, and when she sees the next one she wants, it’s out with the old, in with the new! For now…

Sanctuary, seven ways

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Sanctuary means different things for the seven chimpanzee individuals that live in Cle Elum, Washington.

Negra’s sanctuary lies in the solitude and comfort of a giant nest:

And sometimes the chance to peacefully pick wild greens on Young’s Hill

Jody finds sanctuary in the company of others:

as well in moments of quiet:

and bounty:

If Annie had to spell sanctuary, she would spell it M-I-S-S-Y:

Missy’s sanctuary is all about movement!

Jamie’s sanctuary is filled with cowboy boots:

And boot related activities:

Burrito’s sanctuary needs to be delicious:

and fun!

Foxie’s sanctuary wouldn’t be complete without dolls:

and friends!

and friends that steal said dolls and play keep-away!

Happy Birthday, Tamara!

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Ben Chandler in honor of Tamara Beus!  “In celebration of Tamara’s birthday we hope all the beautiful chimpanzees have a wonderful day!” 

The chimps are so fortunate to have so many friends both near and far and we’re always thrilled to see them included in so many thoughts, celebrations, and well, families!

Ben, thank you so much for choosing to celebrate Tamara’s birthday in such a thoughtful and compassionate way! It’s so lovely that her special day is making a difference in the chimps’ lives.

Tamara, all of us here at the sanctuary wish you the happiest of days! And we hope it’s filled with all the good things, all the things that make your heart happy. Have a beautiful day!


jamie tightrope walking


Missy carrying food to greenhouse


Foxie’s Magic Touch

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Foxie is one of the only chimps that can really get Jamie to loosen up. Which makes sense because Foxie really knows how to have a good time. I find Foxie often doing a lot of imaginary play with her dolls and enrichment, getting her caregivers to run around and do crazy things, and she loves to play chase and explode into crazy fun spins! But it is really a sight to see when she gets the Boss (Jamie) to let her guard down and cut loose, because we all know how busy Jamie’s schedule is.