Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Between friends

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Early this morning began with a little snow, then an utter downpour, which has turned into a chilly, but sunny afternoon. Jamie, unphased by the chill in the air, has kept staff caregiver, Kelsi, busy walking all afternoon. In the meantime, the other chimps have been enjoying quiet moments with one another in sunny spots indoors.

Good friends, Burrito and Foxie, enjoying some grooming time in the greenhouse:

Annie (background) and best friend, Missy, enjoying one another’s company in the sun coming into the raceway which leads onto Young’s Hill:

Jody was also in the raceway, but decidedly NOT with a friend. When I walked up to the tunnel I saw her intently looking at something with concern while avoiding touching the ground:

The second Jody saw me coming she clung to the caging, eyes big, hair standing on end and asking me for reassurance before running inside. I thought it might be a snake and when I went to check it out I found, well, not quite a snake, but still…:

A small miracle

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Nearly ten years ago, we met these chimpanzees in the windowless basement of a laboratory where they had lived for decades, often alone. Each walk around Young’s Hill still feels like a small miracle.

Are you a Morning Person?

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Personally I love the mornings, however I know many people who are not. The chimps have preferences also! When I walk into the chimp house in the morning I can often find Negra in bed, Missy & Annie playing, Foxie running around, Burrito fully charged for the day, Jamie waiting to instruct us to put boots on, and Jody may or may not still be in bed. Today I walked into the chimp house to find Foxie and Burrito happily wrestling and tickling each other.

Today is also for Michael!

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

We have a second sponsor-a-day for today! Arlene has sponsored this day for her husband Michael, with this message:

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband. I am so thankful for him each and every day. With everything that is going on in the world, it is comforting to have someone who makes you feel loved and safe. I think the chimps would agree :).

We think so too, and the chimps are grateful for your support, Arlene & Micheal!

Peace, love and happiness!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Foxie is known as the peacekeeper at the sanctuary. When a small conflict broke out during her birthday party last week, she rushed around to reassure everyone involved, and the party continued peacefully.

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!

For Jody and all the mamas

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

The weekend of celebrations continues in the chimp house today as we celebrate not only Mother’s Day, but beloved Jody, on her 42nd honorary birthday!

I was in my gracious neighbor’s magical backyard bright and early this morning, heisting two armfuls of lilacs. Many of the chimps enjoy smelling and eating them and even now, late in the day, the scent of fresh lilac occasionally is wafts through their home.

We started the celebration off with a beautiful breakfast forage of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, watermelon, and baby bananas on a bed of lettuce, strawberry and banana smoothie, and more sparkling cider.

The greenhouse was bright and sunny as we set up the party. Pineapple tops are a favorite of the birthday girl so we hoped Jody would find this pokey treat:

And she did:

Nothing says party like shoving an entire pokey pineapple top in your mouth:

Dora had a gift for someone:

Foxie gazing at Dora while enjoying her fresh lilacs and melting my heart into a big ol’ puddle:

Annie enjoying a party plate:

For Jamie, parties are even (or maybe I should say especially) serious business. She was methodically looking for her favorites and keeping a watchful eye on the three pinatas hanging from the ceiling until she could get to them. Jamie loves a challenge so this was her kind of party:

The lilacs are quite popular with a few of the girls and Annie was doing her best to collect some on the sly while avoiding the eyes of the more dominant Missy and Jamie and she collected quite a few:

Gorgeous Missy enjoying a treat box:

Burrito was a wild man all morning long. Riling up the girls, rattling the caging, displaying throughout the chimp house. Pretty much normal stuff, but with an extra dash of wild today. But he did find time to settle down and enjoy the company of his friends on their special day and even went to Annie’s defense to reassure her when she got yelled at for picking the “wrong” lilac:

Burrito and Foxie:

And then there’s Negra, who ended the celebration by collecting all the lilacs she could and winding up with a beautiful bouquet:

Mother’s Day is a special day at the sanctuary. If you’re new to the blog and just learning about the chimps, we only know that Jody was most likely born in the wild sometime in 1975. We chose this day to celebrate Jody in honor of the nine infants she gave birth to, but who were stolen from her during her time in biomedical research. With the exception of Jamie and Burrito, all of the chimps residing here had children and were denied the right to raise them. So today, with full hearts, we honor each of the chimps, their loss of their own mothers, and their children who lost the opportunity to grow up with their amazing mothers. You can learn more about each of their stories here.

Mother’s Day can feel like a bittersweet celebration here at times. But what I am finding is that with each passing year, as we’re astounded and privileged to witness the strength, healing and resiliency of these amazing beings, the pain of knowing the horror they endured for so long starts to fade into the shadows, eclipsed by the incredible light of each of these special souls. While we will always honor all they’ve been through, it’s really become about celebrating all they’ve overcome as unique individuals, the hope and joy they embrace each day with, and the family you’ve made possible for them to have. I hope with all my heart that they feel the same.

Happy Birthday, beautiful Jody!! We love you so very much!! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there! And I really think that’s all of us in some shape or form. 🙂


Foxie & Jamie

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Listen to these two laughing…