Archive for the ‘Jamie’ Category


Friday, August 18th, 2017

The chimps follow one simple rule: ALL SNAKES, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, POSE AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT AND MUST BE REMOVED BY ANY AND ALL MEANS AVAILABLE. Sometimes this means enlisting the help of their caregivers.

(In case you are wondering, the sanctuary is surrounded by 1,500 feet of rattlesnake barrier, but smaller, less harmful snakes live within the chimps’ two-acre enclosure and occasionally get into the indoor enclosures).

In this video, you can see and hear Annie alarm calling, while she and Burrito stay safely out of harm’s way. Jody, Foxie, and Jamie mustered the courage to force the snake out from its hiding spot and hand it over to the proper authorities, who in this case was Co-Director Diana.

Jamie helps out

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Enrichment comes in many forms…

Sundays are Important

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Sundays are important for catching up on sleep, chores, and just plain old relaxation. Jamie and Burrito took full advantage of resting while the playroom was being cleaned. Napping was a good idea because today was a busy day with a summer visit and a forage on the hill.

Jamie made a huge nest with blankets and at least 4 boots:

Burrito napped on a platform and used a very comfortable blanket to rest his head:

After Jamie left, Burrito thought the sandbox looked comfortable to take a nap in:

Or play, because we all know he can’t resist a good game:

a special gift for Jamie

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Jamie’s birthday isn’t until October 31st, but her friend Vicki sent her a very special gift recently.

Ask Jamie

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Our resident expert shares her thoughts on keeping primates as pets:

More birthday fun!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

A few photos from yesterday’s party!

The handcrafted watermelon bowls in honor of Foxie!




To each their own

Monday, July 31st, 2017

If you’ve been following the blog for long you’re aware that we often write about providing enrichment for the chimpanzees as a way to help alleviate boredom and bring interest and fun to their days. A lot of the enrichment is provided by us humans in the form of things like toys, food puzzles, parties, and wild browse we collect. And a lot of the enrichment the chimps provide themselves such as harvesting wild greens from Young’s Hill. Staff and volunteers alike spent countless hours trying to think of new and exciting things and we keep enrichment calendars so that we’re inspired to think outside the box and mix things up. And inspiration often simply comes from the area we live in and the distinct four seasons we have.

Being summer, it’s fun to offer the chimps extra ways to stay hydrated and cool. So today we placed the ever-popular ice water buckets and a table of ice in the chimps’ playroom. We also made a very shallow pool in the chimps’ sandbox in the greenhouse and filled it with cups for them to help themselves to throughout the day. For all the effort we put into making things new and exciting, sometimes it’s the simplest things that get the chimps excited. There was so much hooting going on over ice!

Annie found a big ice chunk and quickly made her way to the greenhouse where she made a nest to enjoy it from (you can notice the ice chunk just outside her nest):

Enter Missy. Missy LOVES ice and being the more dominant of the two chimps, Annie decided not to eat the ice with Missy hanging around. Missy was very aware of this and kept taking passes looking at the ice, but she didn’t take it from Annie. So the ice melted away as the standoff continued. But this didn’t keep Annie from relaxing and enjoying her time. That leg!!

I never did see where the ice wound up, but either way Annie seemed utterly content.

And then there’s Jamie. Two summers ago we noticed for the first time that somehow (and much to our surprise) she and Missy had discovered wasp larvae to be an exceptional delicacy. This is pretty intriguing for a variety of reasons, but the bottom line is Jamie loves them and finds the risks in harvesting them worth the reward.

Yesterday she and Missy came running in from the hill with a small nest and Jamie was screaming and alarm calling all the way with all the other chimps in pursuit to see what was wrong with their friend. As far as we could tell, Jamie appeared to have been stung on the foot. She fell into her nest (still clutching her valuable wasp nest tightly), screaming, alarm calling and looking at her foot. But within mere seconds she was up and walking around the playroom continuing to alarm call in between taking bites of her treat. All the chimps continued to follow her being interested in 1) what the apparent threat was that Jamie kept alarm calling about and if she was okay and 2) what she was eating. But Jamie quickly settled down and with six chimps gathered around her food peering (staring intently because they were hoping she’d share) she enjoyed her treat. And she did not share. It was all pretty dramatic.

So today while cleaning the greenhouse I had to remove a couple starter wasp nests for the chimps’ and humans’ safety. Jamie was watching intently and so we decided to hide this apparent (wasp free) delicacy with the rest of the forage. She immediately scooped it up and began food grunting. Missy is the only person I’ve seen show an interest in wasp larvae and she quickly followed Jamie doing her best food peer and polite requests, but Jamie was unmoved by Missy’s plea. (Missy did get a smaller bite of one later though).

Mmmhhh…wasp larvae.

Highly prized

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

There are a few foods that a lot of caregivers mildly dread serving to the chimpanzees. One of these foods is corn on the cob. Corn is a hot commodity for the chimps and with its distinguished deliciousness, comes a wave of competitive desire from a few of the dominant individuals (namely Jamie and Jody) to try and steal as many pieces of corn as possible from the other chimps. This as you might imagine, is not seen as a popular tactic and can cause chaos and screams to ring through the sanctuary. We rarely serve whole pieces of corn any more because it causes so much drama, and instead will break the cobs in half, or cut them into many tiny pieces for play room forages. Today however, we decided to spread whole corn far and wide out on Young’s Hill. There is something about having all that extra space for foraging out on the hill that the chimps seem genuinely satisfied and lose a little bit of that competitive tension.

Of course there are some chimps that are a bit more successful…

Negra seemed so pleased with her one large corn that she headed right back inside with it to enjoy:

Burrito needed a lot of reassurance from Foxie because he was so thrilled (note how “fluffy” he looks with his hair standing on end). Foxie was perfectly happy to pick up a bunch of primate chow that we also scattered with the corn.

Jamie and Missy were moving and eating quickly, but I promise they got lots of lunch too!

Annie ate all of her corn while she was outside:

Happy Birthday, Reilly and Eamonn!

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Today Reilly and Eamonn Coyne are turning 7 years old! Kate O’Keefe chose to celebrate her twin grandchildrens’ special day by sponsoring this day of sanctuary in their honor! Kate shared this lovely message about today:

“We are sponsoring this day in honor of our twin grandchildren, Reilly and Eamonn Coyne.They are turning 7 on July 29th! Thank you for all your wonderful work. It is a joy to see your posts of the chimps happy and thriving.”

Kate, we are so touched that you thought of the chimpanzees in celebrating Reilly and Eamonn and their birthday. It’s lovely to know your compassion and your grandchildrens’ lives are making a difference in the chimps’ lives. We are so happy to celebrate with you all today.

Happy Birthday, Reilly and Eamonn!! Here at the sanctuary we think the number 7 is a pretty big deal. These seven chimpanzees have brought more joy, love, fun, laughter and hope into all our lives and we hope your special day is full of all the same. Thank you for caring about Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra and sharing your big day with them!





Annie and Missy: