Archive for the ‘Jamie’ Category

A look back at Jamie

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

This video speaks for itself. Take a look at Jamie nine years ago and today.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

We have a wonderful surprise day of sanctuary today sponsored by Dylan Most, who just wanted to give a little love to the chimps and celebrate the first day of summer!

Dylan, what a lovely gift! Thank you so much for thinking of the chimps and all of us here at the sanctuary. It’s hard to believe it’s summer! But the easeful, peaceful and joyful days are welcome by us all and it’s so wonderful to see the chimps relishing it all. We are grateful to your kind heart for helping to make theirs lives as beautiful as possible.

Be it your summer or winter, all of us are wishing all of you a beautiful solstice! And happy summer to all our northern hemisphere folks!

Jody:

Foxie:

Negra:

Annie:

Jamie:

Missy:

Burrito:

The Celebration Continues!

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Every once in awhile I feel like everything around me stills for just a few seconds and I find myself standing still in eye of the love storm that surrounds these chimpanzees. It’s a feeling to behold and I can’t help but imagine if all living beings, us humans included, could feel so much love and respect what a different place this world, this life, might be. It’s inspiring and hopeful and makes one’s heart ache with gratitude that these amazing chimpanzees get to experience this as their every day life now.

As we celebrate this special day of the chimps’ 9th year since arriving to their sanctuary home AND Queen Negra’s birthday, our second day of sanctuary sponsorship comes from our dear friend, Kathleen Corby, with this beautiful message:

“Happy 44th Birthday to Negra and Happy 9 Years of Hope, Love, Home, Sanctuary to CSNW! To Negra, I wish you a day filled with warm sunshine to nap in, soft fuzzy blankets to nest with, and Nut Bags galore bursting full of your favorite snacks! Please know I love you dearly and I will never forget the day I had the privilege to meet you — my heart melted with pure joy upon seeing your beautiful face. Happy Birthday to you dear girl! I love you. To everyone at CSNW, I wish you the happiest of celebrations on this important day. I will be celebrating with you in my heart. Thank you for all you have done and all you continue do to provide Negra, Missy, Annie, Jamie, Foxie, Jody and Burrito with the best of everything possible. Much love, Kathleen”

Kathleen, from our hearts, thank you for being part of this chimp family and this amazing day of celebration. You are here in spirit, thought and heart every day and I have no doubt the chimpanzees feel that on some level.

Happy Anniversary, Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra! We love you all so very much!

Annie:

Burrito:

Foxie:

Jamie:

Jody:

Jody with forage haul

Missy:

And Happiest of Happy to you on this birthday, Queen Negra! Negra says, *Clap, Clap!!* “Let’s get this party started!”:

Morning grooming fest

Monday, June 12th, 2017

When I arrived to the chimp house this morning I found the whole family (with the exception of Missy who was still asleep in her nest) at the top of the sunny greenhouse together nesting and grooming. Grooming is extremely important in chimp society. While it does serve to care for wounds and keep each other clean, it’s a primary means of building relationships, maintaining bonds, and offering comfort.

The chimps had a doozy of an argument yesterday (as chimps’ often do) and while it was pretty much resolved by the end of the day, it was really nice to see everyone relaxing together this morning, amends made, grievances forgiven. The business of chimp families.

Annie and Negra (background):

Annie self-grooming:

Annie in her nest, Jamie grooming Jody:

Jamie is grooming Negra, but Burrito was actually trying to get Negra to play by ruffling her hair, play-stomping and laughing. Negra was not remotely interested in anything but being groomed.

After making the grooming rounds with her chimp family, Foxie swung down to say hi:

It’s been a peaceful day in the chimp house. And good thing, because the chimps need to rest up for the big celebration tomorrow! Not only is it their 9th anniversary since arriving to their sanctuary home (9 years?!!), but it’s Negra’s 44th honorary birthday! And it’s going to be a party fit for a Queen, naturally.

Lunch

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Considering one human is responsible for keeping seven hungry chimps happy at meals, most of them go remarkably smoothly.

Today is in honor of Robert Ruggeri

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

It is a beautiful and peaceful day morning here at the sanctuary.  The chimps started their day, as they do most days this time of year, basking in the early morning sun coming into the greenhouse, and our neighborhood elk, Ellie, was still dozing in the shaded green grass when I arrived. Such a day couldn’t be more fitting as we celebrate a day of sanctuary sponsored in honor of Robert Ruggeri by his daughter, Rachel Ruggeri. Rachel shared this beautiful and touching message about her father:

“This day is in honor of my father, Robert Ruggeri, who would have celebrated his 81st birthday on June 6th. Though he passed away four years ago this July, his vital spirit continues to remain present in our minds and in our hearts. His love of animals was part of the fabric of his being – always with a dog by his side and happy to see all creatures enjoying their natural habit and the freedom that ensued. He would love nothing more than to see the chimps enjoying a sense of well-deserved peace and harmony among the acres of Eastern Washington, the place he himself fondly called home.”

Rachel, thank you so very much for your generous gift for the chimpanzees in memory of your father. We are honored to celebrate Robert and our hearts are with you and your family, hoping that the incredible memories you must have of him fill you with love and comfort. He sounds like such an amazing being and we’ll be holding thoughts of his special spirit here with us all.

Burrito, in all his courage, on top of the Twister:

Jamie and Foxie:

Annie (below) and Missy (top):

Annie and Missy top of Twister

Master Forager, Jody:

Jody with forage haul

Negra:

Sunset over the sanctuary:

All day forage

Monday, June 5th, 2017

The chimps have had an exciting day of forages! Breakfast in the sunlit greenhouse, lunch on the stunningly lush Young’s Hill, and dinner in the playroom.

In the wild chimpanzees spend the majority of their days traveling and looking for food. Here at CSNW we serve most of the chimps’ meals by hand to make sure that everyone gets their fair amount and it also gives us the opportunity to check out any wounds and see how everyone is doing. That said, we take every opportunity to present the chimps with choices and activities that encourage their natural behavior. Forages are a great way to get them active and engaged and I imagine they often appreciate the opportunity to do as they please and not wait around for the humans to serve them their portions.

A beautiful lunch forage with Foxie and Dora:

Missy in the treat rock:

Burrito in the hammock! (Annie to the right):

Annie standing, Burrito to the right:

Annie checking out the tire swing for sweet potatoes, Burrito foraging in the grass:

Sweet Annie:

Missy had to stop several times to keep putting food back in her mouth and picking up pieces she’d dropped. She was not going to leave one piece behind!

Whew! She made it back to the greenhouse with her corn stash!

Jamie:

Beautiful Jody:

After lunch Jamie asked me to put on her boots and sit with her near the open panels of the greenhouse that face Young’s Hill so she could groom the boots. She eventually made a nest and decided to lie down next to me and enjoy the cool breeze. So I decided I should also have a nest and got a blanket to lie on next to her, a safe distance from chimps and caging. Before I knew it Burrito came over and sprawled out in the corner next to us, and Annie and Foxie curled up on the top platform facing the hill and we all just enjoyed a few moments of rest together on a peaceful spring day. Some of us (chimps) got to rest longer than others (me), but it was lovely while it lasted. 🙂 Sanctuary for us all.

the privilege of being a caregiver

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

I first started working with chimpanzees in 1998, and I have been with the Cle Elum Seven for the entirety of their life at the sanctuary, even meeting them before they arrived on June 13, 2008.

And I still can’t believe that I have the privilege of caring for these amazing, playful, temperamental, intelligent, sensitive, wild, unpredictable, joyful, unique people.

Keeping Busy

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Jamie spent over twenty years in barren laboratory cages with nothing to do. These days, she is almost never idle…when she’s not playing with her chimpanzee friends or patrolling her two-acre enclosure, she invents projects for herself with the dozens of enrichment items set out for her each day.

The Things We Carry

Friday, May 26th, 2017

A few months ago, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest was invited to contribute to an exhibit in the Museum of Culture and Environment at Central Washington University. The exhibit, entitled “The Things We Carry,” would feature objects of significance to the members of our local community.

Our community, of course, includes seven chimpanzees, and you’d be hard pressed to find objects of greater significance to their owners than the boots and dolls carried by Jamie and Foxie.

During the opening reception for the exhibit, Dr. Jessica Mayhew, who is both a professor in the Primate Behavior and Ecology program at CWU and a CSNW volunteer, provided some very moving remarks on the installation:

When you have the opportunity to go in and experience the exhibit, you’ll see some objects that undoubtedly look familiar to you.  A pillowcase, a toddler’s dress, empty bags of potato chips.  Also encased are some cowboy boots and dolls.  Cowboy boots in this region are common, and many of us can surely remember the various iterations of Troll dolls beginning in the 1960s.

But what’s special about these boots and these dolls, is that the objects do not belong to humans, they belong to two chimpanzees from Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest: Jamie and Foxie.  Jamie and Foxie are only two of seven chimpanzees residing at CSNW, and they are not the only chimpanzees that carry objects, but their object carrying has become iconic, picked up in popular news stories across the US and globally.

As a primatologist, I have watched my fair share of object manipulation, tool creation, and object play in macaques, in capuchins, in the large-bodied apes.  Jane Goodall first described tool use in chimpanzees in 1960, when she observed David Greybeard termite fish with a piece of grass.  We’ve been grappling with the implications of those observations ever since.

Objects occupy a wide functional range in the lives of primates.  Some are used in the acquisition and processing of food – capuchin monkeys carry large, hard hammer stones up from nearby riverbeds to their nut cracking sites; chimpanzees have been observed to carry sticks, stems, and sturdy grasses from one location in their home range to termite and ant nests, where they know they will not find suitable fishing materials.  Objects do not always have to be inanimate: mother primates regularly carry their infants, most often on their backs, but sometimes on the chest, which can make walking a bit of a challenge.  Still other objects are used in ways that we have only begun to observe and decipher: stone handling in multiple macaque species, log and rock cradling in chimpanzees.

But there is something different when the object is one that’s familiar to us; one that may have played a large role in our childhood, like dolls or action figures, or is an object that is perhaps a part of the larger cultural fabric of a place, like cowboy boots.  When familiar objects are put into hands that are a little less familiar, it makes the divide between human and non-human a little bit narrower.

There are 7 chimpanzees at CSNW, all of them very much individuals, all of them vibrant and compelling; they were known as “The Buckshire Seven”, because they were housed at the Buckshire Corporation in a windowless basement, and spent the majority of their lives leased out for various biomedical studies.  Jamie was born in captivity around 1977, and she spent the first nine years of her life in the entertainment industry before entering into the biomedical realm.  Foxie, on the other hand, was born into the biomedical industry in 1976: she was used in vaccine trials, she was used as a breeder.  Each time she gave birth, her infant was carried away by humans.
This group became “The Cle Elum Seven” when they moved to sanctuary in 2008.  Jamie has spent the last nine years of her life, taking chimpanzee patrols around the property with her human friends, who are always in boots.  Foxie has no shortage of dolls to carry with her, and no risk of them not being there each day.

The exhibit description tells us that, “Objects hold memories. Physical things carry traces of people we have loved, times of joy and terror, and places we may have heard of, but never visited.  They connect us to distant homelands and important moments in personal and family memory. Through our objects, we carry with us complex emotions and histories.  Sometimes, in contemplating these material things, we discover new insights about where we have come from and whom we might become.”

Maybe Jamie’s very specific love of cowboy boots comes from her early days reared with humans.  Maybe Foxie’s love of dolls comes from never fully experiencing motherhood.  Maybe, I’ll leave that for them to know, ultimately.  But I will say that these objects serve as reminders for us, as onlookers, for where these chimpanzees have been and for what humans have done to them.   They are powerful expressions of both great sadness and great silliness.  But they also serve as symbols of hope, that circumstances can change, that life can be better and full of kindness and compassion.

The exhibit title, “The Things We Carry” seems all the more fitting now with the inclusion of these artifacts from our closest relatives.  This is a community-curated exhibition.  Not just this local community of humans with stories to tell, and memories to conjure, but the deep roots shared by humans and our closest kin.  Indeed, we are all carrying physical, emotional, and metaphorical things.

 

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