Archive for the ‘Negra’ Category

One of those weeks

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

There are some days, maybe even entire weeks, when things go wrong at the sanctuary. Not major things, mind you, but an accumulation of small “fires” that need to be put out. Shelves collapse in the kitchen (spraying juice everywhere), an innocent volunteer takes a pile of feces to the face, blankets block doors from closing off an area for cleaning, minor injuries on the chimps (from a small fight) need special attention, staff or volunteers get sick, and Jamie decides to cap it all off by staying out late on Young’s Hill. Did I mention it’s been really hot and a haze of wildfire smoke from Canada is in the air? This is the kind of week we’ve been having at the sanctuary. I debated on whether or not this was maybe a bit too much information, but I think it’s incredibly important to talk about BOTH fun things like Foxie’s birthday party, AND the less charming things that happen around here. Being a caregiver isn’t comprised of 50% games with Burrito and 50% troll tosses with Foxie after all (although that does sound pretty great).

The upside? We LOVE what we do. Through all the fog of craziness in some days, emerge seven pretty special chimpanzees that deserve all that hard work and love, and if that means working a bit late, having plans suddenly change, or being uncomfortably sweaty and smelly for a few hours, it’s all worth it.


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:


Pea tendrils

Friday, July 28th, 2017

It’s that time of year again! The snap peas were nearing the end of their season in the chimpanzees’ garden, so this morning we pulled up the vines and gave the entire plants to the chimpanzees for browse. The chimps like to suck all of the juices out of the tougher vegetation and spit out the fibrous parts. I’m expecting to find a great deal of wadged pea tendrils when we clean tomorrow.


Missy collected armloads of vines:




Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Rachel Ruggeri sponsored this day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees as a wonderful way to celebrate life! She shared this really beautiful message about today:

“This day is in honor of my 48th birthday! The sanctuary gives me hope that we can create a better world where all living creatures have some sense of freedom and happiness. And it is that hope that I look forward to with each passing year…”

Rachel, you are an amazing friend to the chimpanzees. From our hearts, thank you for all you do for them, for helping us care for them and give them lives their unique and special selves deserve, and for being part of their family. Holding your touching message in our hearts, we are all wishing you the happiest of birthdays yet and many, many more to come. Have a fantastic day!

Annie and Missy:




Jamie walking on fire hose bridge


Jody carrying cattail


Similar tastes

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Jody and Negra share the same passion for peace, quiet, and comfortable nests.



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!

It’s Beets!

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

The lunch forage on the hill today included quite a variety of vegetables, but the beets were a favorite. Bonus: they are easy to carry back to the greenhouse to enjoy.

Eating beets temporarily stains the chimps’ white freckles a lovely shade of pink, and cleaning up the day after a beet feast is always more colorful.










Negra (with Missy in the background)


If you are wondering about the troll doll by Negra’s feet in the photo above, she actually took a shine to it today. It’s Foxie who loves the troll dolls, but once in a while Negra decides to carry one around!



For Deborah and her Dad

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by Deborah Bishop who shares this lovely message about today:

“For my birthday and in honour of my dear Dad who imparted a profound love of the natural world and all the creatures great and small with whom we share it. With gratitude to all of you who give your time, energy and commitment to this amazing sanctuary.” 

Deborah, this is such a beautiful sponsorship and we are so happy to celebrate your birthday and your Dad with you! What a wonderful gift your Dad gave you to carry with you throughout life. He will be in our thoughts today. Thank you so much for including the chimpanzees in your special day and for helping to ensure their lives are full of all the good things. All of us wish you the happiest of birthdays!!

Annie and Foxie:

Annie and Missy:

Burrito and Jody:


Jamie and Missy:

Sundays Are For The Girls

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Today is a mild 85º. The perfect day for a forage and napping!


Negra enjoying a forage on the hill today:

Jamie nesting with one of her favorite boots:

Annie in the greenhouse enjoying the weather: