Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

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. đŸ™‚


Foxie & Jamie

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Listen to these two laughing…

A Special Anniversary Message

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Arlene and Michael Okun, supporters of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest for the last several years, are celebrating their anniversary today and have chosen to include sponsoring a day of sanctuary as part of their celebration.

They included this very touching message, which I think everyone should take a moment to read before you head into the rest of your day or your weekend:

We have so much to be thankful for, and as we count our blessings we include CSNW among them. Thank you for the outstanding work that you do. We would like to share our special day with the chimps. We wish them and all of you what I think we all would like: to be well, to feel safe, to feel loved, to have good company, to be happy, and to find joy in every day.

What a beautiful message, Arlene and Michael!

It is what we wish for everyone reading this too. A big happy anniversary to you both!

annie missy play wrestle




A person like Foxie

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Foxie wears many hats at the sanctuary. To the other chimpanzees she is friend, peacekeeper, playmate, and protector. She is popular for all the right reasons, and in a lot of ways, she is part of the glue that bonds this tiny community of seven chimps together. We should all be so lucky to have a Foxie in our inner circle.

Fall in Love with Jamie

Friday, February 10th, 2017

The boss demands that you fall in love with her.

I have to admit that it took me a few years to fully appreciate Jamie in all of her complicated moodiness, but I truly love everything about her.

Jamie currently has 31 Pals. Will you Share the Chimp Love and be her new Chimpanzee Pal for Valentine’s Day?

Fall in love with Annie

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

We are creating and sharing videos of all of the chimpanzees in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day!

Starting with beautiful Annie:


Learn more
about how to participate in the Share the Chimp Love fundraising or how to become a Chimpanzee Pal.


And if the above video didn’t quite convince you to become Annie’s newest Pal, here are a few photos from today of Annie making the most of winter by enjoying the snow and icicles served indoors:


and the biggest snow forage imaginable (aka the outdoors right now):


Seriously, how could you NOT fall in love?!


More snow adventures & thanks to volunteers!

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Annie is continuing to show her newfound adventurous nature.

annie in snow

annie standing on snow

The other chimpanzees (well, most of them) were inspired to follow her out into the snowy expanse of Young’s Hill this afternoon.

The pair of photos below of Annie and Jody are my favorite! It’s so uplifting to see the chimpanzees support one another and share in adventures big and small:

jody and annie in snow

profiles of jody and annie


Foxie and Missy were 3rd and 4th out. The photo below is of Foxie giving Missy a quick hug before continuing along the path:

foxie hugging missy


Foxie didn’t have to go very far to find a snack:

foxie sitting with snow


Nor did Missy:

missy gathering snow

missy holding snow


Jody seemed to be in awe of the snow:

jody profile close-up


and dove right in for a taste:

jody eating snow

jody eating snow


Jamie came out after a few minutes and headed straight for a structure. She often takes the lead in adventures, but not today.

jamie sitting on structure


Though she did win points for her acrobatics once outside:

jamie tightrope

jamie swing

jamie swing 2

jamie swing 3


She also found some big chunks of snow to bring back into the building to savor:

jamie smell snow

jamie carry snow


Negra and Burrito didn’t follow these adventurers, but I did see Negra coming in later in the day, and I have no doubt Burrito at least reached an arm out to get a taste.


Before ending this post, I have to express our gratitude for volunteers and interns. This week we have really relied on you!

After being sick for a week herself, Katelyn has been the only healthy full time staff member this week. We’re very deliberate about staying away from the chimp house when we are feeling under the weather because we don’t want the chimpanzees to catch our bugs, so volunteers and interns have been life savers!

Today I’m much better but still not at 100%. I was able to don a mask and gloves to operate doors but luckily had an incredible crew of volunteers and Central Washington University interns who did the (literal) dirty work all day.






Thank you to all of you who give your free time to the sanctuary – it makes a huge difference to all of the primates here!


Visiting Hours

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Health care workers know that emotional support from friends and family can play an important role in the healing process. So while Negra might be on restricted activity for a few days, she still gets regular visits from her family.

Then again, who needs family when you’ve got a constant stream of peanuts, peanut butter, cabbage, and pineapple coconut juice…

A Day for a Family in Colorado

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was a gift donation for the Eilmeses in Colorado: Kurt, Erin, Isaac, Ace & Elyse with Happy New Year wishes from Kevin and Diane Eilmes. They gave this gift in the hope that their Colorado family enjoy the chimps as much as they do!

Thank you, Kevin & Diane!


Here’s a favorite video from the previous year that illustrates one of the most important aspects of sanctuary life for the chimpanzees – companionship:



And here’s a photo of Annie and Missy holding hands:


The first sponsored day of 2017!

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Can you believe it? It’s actually 2017!

A new day of a new year – fresh and waiting for what is to come.

Friend of the sanctuary Kathleen, who has donated her amazing graphic design talents on many projects for the sanctuary over the last few years, has the unique privilege of having this day in her honor. 

David Guernsey sponsored today in Kathleen’s honor with this message, When asked what Kathleen wanted for Christmas, her reply was a gift to her favorite friends at Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW. January 1st seemed like a fitting day as I know she shares your excitement in the expansion of the sanctuary property. Happy New Year CSNW.

Thank you, David, and thank you, Kathleen for all of the wonderful things that you do for your chimpanzee friends.

Here’s to Hope.Love.Home…Sanctuary for more chimpanzees!

I thought I’d bring back a video in honor of Kathleen from last year of BFFs Missy and Annie, because this kind of love and silliness is what sanctuary is all about:

and some bonus photos of Negra, because… Negra:

Negra standing 2