Archive for the ‘Nesting’ Category

Nice Day for a Walk

Monday, January 15th, 2018

When I arrived at CSNW this morning I was greeted by a nice long kiss by Jamie and breathy pants from the chimps. Jamie gestured for me to put a boot on and she broke into a game of chase. Jamie lead me outside to the greenhouse, where she ran up to door Y and insisted I open it so we could finish our game of chase on Young’s Hill. However, we close off the Hill at night for the chimps and before I can open any door there are checks that I have to do. But, trust me – I got her out there in good time! Today was a pretty mild winter day (which might explain some good moods this morning) and the chimps took full advantage of it. Jamie and Missy spent most of their day on Young’s Hill, and who could blame them! Jamie especially was loving this warmer winter weather! Jamie and I played games of chase inside, games of chase outside, we did countless walks, and spent sometime just sitting outside. Because we were outside for most of the day I was only able to capture a few photos.

Jamie eating some broccoli in her nest:

Missy taking a short break:

Jamie admiring her boots:

Jamie tucked her boots safely in her pelvic pocket; shortly afterwards she gave me those boots to go walk with her:


Jamie’s nest

Friday, January 5th, 2018

It’s been very quiet here today. Freezing rain has left everything coated in a thick layer of ice, making it nearly impossible to travel to or from the sanctuary.

Jamie didn’t seem too upset by the fact that her two-acre habitat had frozen over. In fact, she seemed to relish the opportunity to stay inside, make a cozy nest with blankets, giant stuffed animals, and her favorite boots, and leisurely flip through a new book about primates.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the chimp house not a creature was stirring… besides a few chimps;

The stockings were stuffed by a few kind volunteers;

In hopes for field roast and boots galore soon;

The chimps are all nesting comfortably in their blankets;

While they save energy for the big day that lies ahead.

The chimps are so excited for tomorrow! Today we did a lot of preparation for our Christmas party. We have 4 bins stuffed with stockings, blankets, toys, dolls, books, and boots! Staff have been busy organizing and checking all the enrichment and volunteers have been busy stuffing stockings and wrapping presents. Unlike some Christmas shoppers, we are stress-free thanks to all of our donors who gave the chimps gifts! Today, Christmas Eve was full of relaxing and building the anticipation for Christmas Day! There were many grooming parties, nesting, and games of chase! It was a little too cold to go on the Hill unfortunately, but we kept ourselves occupied…

Burrito played chase with volunteer caregivers to pass the time:

Foxie and Jamie played games of chase and napped most of the day:

Jamie collecting blankets to make her nest:

Missy and Annie wrestling:



Keeping Traditions

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Judy and Thom Nash in honor of their family! Judy shared this beautiful message about their gift:

Last year we sponsored a day as our gift to our four grown daughters and grandchildren and want to continue that tradition. We believe it’s extremely important to care for our earth and all inhabitants. These seven chimps have found a special place in my heart and I feel ashamed as humans that we treated them so horrible. I am eternally grateful for the sanctuary and the wonderful people that take special care of these seven beautiful beings.”

Judy and Thom, this is such a lovely, heartfelt day of sanctuary in honor of your daughters and grandchildren and the chimps! Thank you for holding the chimps in your hearts and for making a lasting difference in their lives. Happiest of holidays and winter seasons to you and your family from all of the primates at CSNW!

On this first day of winter we’ve had happily nowhere near the snow we had last year yet (knock on wood), but chimp family snowdays are nevertheless a sight to behold. Here are Jamie and Missy ingeniously avoiding the snow from last year:



Jody bringing in a snow treat:

Jody holding snow 2

Jamie and Annie improving upon the humans’ shoveling skills:

Foxie and Burrito:

Of course, snowdays call for plenty of warm tea and cozy nests:


Jungle Day

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

In celebration of today’s winter solstice, we threw a jungle party for the chimpanzees. Why? Because we can!

After the food, the highlight of the party was the giant stuffed animals collected and sent to us by some good friends of the chimps. Stuffed animals this large are a rarity around here – most of the chimps are more interested in destroying them than playing with them. Burrito, however, is a big fan.

Rain or Shine

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Nothing stops Jamie from doing what she loves. Though the weather could have been better today… Jamie kept a good attitude and didn’t let a little rain stop her! Jamie encouraged the care staff and volunteers to join her; as for the chimps, only one chimp endured the outdoors with Jamie and that was Burrito. However, he did not join again after the first time…

Jamie doing a perimeter check in the rain:

Jamie at the last leg of the walk getting ready to start running:

Meanwhile, the chimps inside napped or quietly played. The chimps were hard to find today so I tried to capture what I could without disturbing their peaceful day!

Burrito playing by himself:

Negra getting cozy:

What Did the Chimps Do Today?

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

We had a lot of playful chimps today! When the humans arrived this morning we found Missy and Annie chasing each other, Burrito with a toy in his mouth ready to play chase, Foxie throwing dolls, Jody breathy panting, Negra giving kisses, and Jamie ready with a grooming tool for boots. Throughout the day there has been quite a bit of napping and nesting because it was really cold today. However, do not fret, the chimps have been very busy! Burrito has been running around with his scooter and Jamie has been reading books and stuffing trolls into paper bags. Check out the video to see a few more of today’s activities!

Boot related activities

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Jamie’s boot interests are not restricted to just holding them or having her caregivers wear them for her. She also likes objects that look like boots and the idea of boots. Every night before we close up the chimp house, Jamie requires that caregivers find her current favorite pair of boots and then drop them in a food chute so she can incorporate them into her night nest. Last night was a little bit different though. Instead of gesturing in the direction of her boot collection, she wandered over to the newly decorated Christmas tree (we will give the tree to the chimps on Christmas day) and gestured emphatically. She insisted I remove several of the resin cowboy boot ornaments and give them to her. This morning as we were cleaning, I found them woven into her blankets up in the playroom loft.

If you read yesterday’s blog, you will know that we gave the chimps a little preview of Christmas, including a few of their gifts. One gift we included was a Cowboy Boot book for Jamie. Today she spent a lot of time thoroughly examining its contents and carrying it from one nest to another for safe keeping.

Safe and sound

Friday, December 1st, 2017

We give out over 70 fleece blankets each day so that the chimps can sleep in clean, comfortable nests. Night nests are usually built up off the ground on the catwalks in the playroom or on benches in the smaller front rooms. Sometimes the chimps sleep near each other, other times they seek privacy.

Annie often gathers blankets from the playroom and front rooms to build her nest on a front room bench. Its takes a lot of work to get the nest just right.

Fourth Day of Thanks, Featuring Monica & Negra

Friday, November 24th, 2017

All of the chimpanzees slept off their Thanksgiving feast from yesterday and are eager to get outside in the gift of late November sunshine today!

We’re all feeling very thankful.

Today is the fourth day of thanks highlighting seven different donors and their seven ways of donating + the seven chimpanzees at the sanctuary.

If you missed the first three, day one featured legacy donor Bruce Davidson + Burrito, day two featured event donor Kathy Cochran + Annie, and day three featured recurring donor Julie Olson + Jody.

Today we are featuring Monica, who has made a big difference with her competition/challenge donations. She’s also a recurring donor and participates in our fall online auctions in a big way. This year, Monica was instrumental in getting us way beyond our goal for Giving Day for Apes. In truth, she really coaxed me into the spirit of the competition this year in a way that I would not have if she had not been so enthusiastic and hopeful for the sanctuary’s chances of winning some additional cash prizes.

Why does Monica give? Here’s her answer:

For seven of the most beautiful beings in the world. You helped save my life, now I will do anything in my power to help give you Hope. Love. Home…Sanctuary.

I really like matching and competition donations because it gives everyone a chance to get in on the fun of giving at whatever level they are able. For challenge pledges, they know every dollar they give will be doubled. It’s great to see everyone come together to reach a goal. On Giving Day for Apes this year, it was so amazing watching everyone rise to the challenge to help the chimps. I had tears in my eyes as I saw the donations and beautiful comments streaming in on the donation page.


I know that Queen Negra plays a special role in Monica’s life, so I’m just going to follow up those inspiring words from Monica with this photo I recently took of CSNW’s Royal Highness:


With Giving Tuesday just a few days away, it seems appropriate to be deeply thankful for those who give towards these specific limited-time fundraising challenges like Giving Day for Apes and Giving Tuesday. They are a big part of our budgeted income for the year, and it means a ton that CSNW donors are so eager to rise to the challenge and respond when others have pledged matching donations. Stay tuned for info on the matching donation pledges on Tuesday!

Back to Negra. I know that she fills a lot of hearts out there. She’s the perfect combination of sweet  plus fiesty and demanding. She really does epitomize, in my mind, why sanctuaries for chimpanzees are so important. She was captured in Africa as a baby and served the interests of humans for more than three decades. She deserves to be as fiesty and demanding as she wants.


And she deserves all the blankets our arms can carry (and then some):

Negra sleeping


Negra’s slower pace at exploring her sanctuary world makes her adventures all the more special. Each year she discovers a spot on Young’s Hill that she has never been to before, and it takes our breath away.

negra in the grass

negra by Twister

Negra on stump


Thank you, Monica. Thank you, Negra. And thank you in advance to everyone who is participating in Giving Tuesday!

Negra Giving Tuesday