Archive for the ‘Party’ Category

Best of 2017!

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Last year brought us some pretty great moments at the sanctuary, some of which we managed to capture on video. I picked through the 2017 blogs and thought I would share my 7 favorite videos from the year.

Here they are in no particular order:

First up! Fun with mister bottles:

Last summer Jamie became an honorary firefighter!

About a year ago, Negra injured one of her toes during a fight. Her injury required that our vet do a small surgery on the toe. After a successful surgery and recovery period, Negra went back with the rest of the group and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Her family was happy to have her back!

Let’s never forget this public service announcement from Jamie Chimpanzee:

We had some pretty great parties this year!
Here’s Foxie’s birthday:

And a Harry Potter day:

Foxie’s joy for new dolls is infectious!

What was your favorite video from 2017? What did I leave out?

Christmas Deconstructed

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Hopefully you’ve watched the video (several times) of the chimps’ holiday party yesterday – it was a pretty amazing day for all of the chimpanzees and the humans who were here to celebrate with them.

The chimps’ friends really know what makes for a great party! A good 98% of the decorations, food, gifts, and blankets were donated from friends near and far.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the still photos from yesterday to deconstruct the party a bit and tell you more about the day.

The first thing to deconstruct is the party food. We are pretty strict about the chimps’ diet. The vast majority of what the chimps eat is fresh produce, supplemented with nuts, seeds, and a small amount of commercially-made “primate chow.” We do not give them food that has added sugar or salt, and we give them very little processed food other than the primate chow. We want the chimpanzees here to be as healthy as possible, so we see their diet as preventative health care.

A few times a year, for special occasions, we bend the rules just a little bit, though you still won’t see the chimps here eating candy. As you can tell from the food squeaks, they are pretty pleased with what we offer.

One thing that dawned on me when we had the Jungle Solstice party last week is that a big part of the chimps’ excitement is not necessarily what the food is, but the fact that we bring out plates for parties. It seems like such a small thing, but I think they have realized that paper plates = party, so and they get excited even if the food on the plates is what they would normally be served on a random day.


Their Christmas plates this year had baked potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and cut-up fresh pomegranate:


For the bending-the-rules food, we also included slices of Field Roast’s Celebration Roast:


The champagne flutes (another “hey, it’s a party” signal) were filled with slightly watered down non-alcoholic sparkling cranberry cider (no sugar added):


Kelsi made the drinks extra fancy by adding a few pomegranate arils to each glass:


The other breaking-the-rules food that’s become a tradition for the holiday party is dinner rolls. Many of the chimpanzees go straight for the rolls, leaving some of the other food on the plate as seconds. That’s what sneaky Missy was “stealing” in the video from yesterday:


Negra is possibly the biggest fan of bread that I know, so she is always pleased to have this extra special treat. Knowing that, some cut up dinner roll pieces were placed in one of her favorite spots up on the catwalk:


The prize pineapple top that you saw Jody with in the video was a leftover from their breakfast. Jody made sure it was okay with Jamie before she took it upstairs to eat in private:


So, what about the presents?! Well, the trick with presents for most chimpanzees is to hide a bit of food in them. So, most of the bags and little boxes you saw had a nut or some other small not-breaking-the-rules food.


That’s not to say that the chimpanzees don’t appreciate new non-food objects, it’s just that food tends to be more universally exciting.

Jamie was very pleased to get two new pairs of boots yesterday, in addition to several books:


And Foxie got so many new dolls that I lost count. I don’t have a good photo of her with a new doll – suffice it to say that she was very happy with all of them! She handed me a new Strawberry Shortcake doll first thing this morning and then did some playful spins.


Today, the chimpanzees are resting up after the big celebration. Here’s Jamie, sound asleep, using her new boots as a pillow, with one of her favorite new books by her side:


The humans had a lot of clean up to do this morning after that extravaganza, which we did quite happily!

And Katelyn is busy in the office preparing thank you notes for all of the generous friends of the chimpanzees. Luckily part-time office cat LouLou is honing her computer skills to lend Katelyn a hand.

So, if you get an email that says, “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?????????????????????” from Katelyn, you’ll know why.


Thank you to everyone who made yesterday, today, and all of the days of 2017 so very wonderful for all of the primates at the sanctuary!


Christmas Party Video for Julie and Rob Sweet & All Supporters!

Monday, December 25th, 2017

Our third sponsor for today’s day of sanctuary is Jean Bengston, who gave the gift of sponsoring Christmas in honor of Julie and Rob Sweet.

And what a Christmas it has been! Thank you to everyone who sponsored today and contributed to the fun of the party, including Patti and Chad who volunteered and helped set up the party this morning!



Christmas Party #1 in Honor of Nancy Hedlund

Monday, December 25th, 2017

Molly Adrian is the second sponsor of today’s day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees! She is honoring her mother, Nancy Hedlund and shared this message:

“Christmas Day – my mom would love nothing more than to gift a day of happiness and nourishment for these beautiful chimpanzees. Merry Christmas!!”

Happiness and nourishment abound today!


Here is a little preview of their Christmas so far, with more to come, of course!

This photo pretty much sums up Christmas for Jamie. We’ve been talking about how she is the consummate consumer – she loves things! The more, the better. Her friends really came through for her and the other chimps today and sent an abundance of gifts and decorations for the party. So many, that we’ll be having a second party later this afternoon! Here is Jamie looking through one of her new boot books:

Jamie with her stuff


If you’ve been following the blog for a bit, you know that food is the biggest source of excitement for Burrito. So, he’s pretty much beside himself when the holidays roll around:

Burrito inhaling xmas


We’ve got a third sponsor-a-day coming up, and we’re working on the video of Party #1 right now. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!



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:



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.

Holiday Greetings!

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

You saw the photos last week of the chimps’ first holiday celebration of the season. We saved the video from the party, and J.B. put together this video just for you:


Learn more about joining the Chimpanzee Pal program, just in time for the holidays.

pal holiday logo

A Christmas Preview

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

This week has been filled with sunshine and no-snow, which is somewhat unusual for December in Central Washington. These lovely weather conditions, combined with the fact that the chimps have received a surplus stock of Christmas gifts, made us decide to do a Christmas preview for the chimpanzees out on Young’s Hill. The last couple of years we have given the chimps potted Christmas trees in December and then planted them on Young’s Hill when the ground thaws in the spring. There are currently 3 Christmas trees planted in their 2 acre outdoor enclosure. This afternoon we decorated them all for a holiday forage.

Bell peppers and apple slices make pretty festive ornaments!


Burrito and Missy:




She quickly found all her new gifts!


Negra went out briefly onto the hill, but decided to eat her lunch in the toasty playroom.

Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Today we’re thankful for love, family, and food grunts.

On today’s menu:

Field Roast with gravy
baked apples
green beans
cranberry sauce
sweet rolls
baked potatoes
roasted chestnuts
sparkling apple cider

We hope you and your family enjoy your festivities as much as the Cle Elum Seven enjoyed theirs. Happy Thanksgiving!

Third Day of Thanks – on Thanksgiving! – Featuring Julie & Jody

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

This is the third post for our week of thanks highlighting seven donors that represent seven different types of giving, while also highlighting the seven chimpanzees.

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

Today we are featuring Julie Olson who has been giving a monthly donation to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest continuously starting in December of 2008 – that’s 107 (and counting) donations!

I really love to learn how donors have come to know about the sanctuary. This is what Julie shared about how her support  began:

My sister first made me aware of the chimps by showing me the KOMO news story. I sponsored Jody for awhile as a gift to her and pretty soon I was hooked! I sponsor Burrito now and I never miss a day checking up on how the chimps and caregivers are doing.

I thought Julie’s story was particularly appropriate for Thanksgiving because her donations to the sanctuary started as a gift for a loved one.

Like Julie, many of our monthly donors give through our Chimpanzee Pal program, where you can choose one of the chimpanzees (may I suggest Jody?) to sponsor as a gift for someone else or for yourself. You can even choose to sponsor the whole family! Alternatively, some monthly donors choose to give through our general donation page, and we make it an option for special fundraising campaigns too, like the upcoming Giving Tuesday campaign!

We are so incredibly grateful for monthly donations and want to send a big thanks to everyone who gives in this way. Having that steady stream of income to rely on for the day-to-day running of the sanctuary and care of the chimpanzees provides a sense of security.

As someone who also donates to other organizations, I also like to give monthly donations partly because it’s an easy – you sign up once and everything goes through automatically unless there’s a change with your credit card or bank.

I know that Jody has directly benefited from Julie and others’ monthly gifts. Just one look at a “then” and “now” photo shows what a sanctuary life has provided for her.

Jody Before

Jody on the day she arrived to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest


Jody relaxing

Jody relaxing in the pool


Jody knows just what she wants and she lives her sanctuary life with a solid sense of independence but motherly concern for her chimpanzee friends. If I were a chimpanzee, I would definitely want Jody to be a part of my family group.

She’s not as concerned with spending time with the humans as some of the other chimpanzees at the sanctuary, which is another thing I love about Jody. She does, however give us humans the best bouncy greetings and is always eager to share her excitement about parties and meals with her caregivers. I’m about to go up to the chimp house now, and I’m willing to bet that we will share in an excited breathy-pant as Elizabeth and volunteers Patti and Grace are setting up the Thanksgiving party.

Elizabeth will be posting about the Thanksgiving festivities later today, but I’ll leave you with a few more photos of Jody.

Jody eating a banana


This last photo, taken by Elizabeth last year, is the November 2017 calendar photo. I forgot to mention in our last e-newsletter that our 2018 calendar is now available for purchase!


Happy Thanksgiving!