Archive for the ‘Sanctuary’ Category

On Duty

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Boss Jamie has a long list of (mostly) self-imposed duties, including (but not limited to) monitoring the whereabouts and activity of all living beings on her domain. No matter where she is, she always knows where you are.

She’s also responsible for ensuring strict compliance with all rules and protocols. She oversees all volunteer training. This afternoon she showed Level III trainee Caroline how we groom.

Constant vigilance can be tiring, so she allows herself short breaks before resuming her work.

The Healing Touch

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Even though the chimpanzees always live together as one group, Negra chooses to spend a lot of her time alone – often curled up in a big comfortable nest with a blanket over her head. She has a favorite spot on the catwalk of the playroom by the windows where she can lay in her nest and still keep an eye on things but remain out of the fray.

When she’s not in her nest, we frequently find her near her mound of blankets, looking out of the window. I see Negra gazing out of the windows in a way that I rarely witness the other chimpanzees doing.

She can spend long periods of time taking in the view that includes the cattle and horses on the neighboring property, the old highway, and the railroad. Negra exudes serenity in these quiet, private moments.


Even us introverts benefit from the company of others, though. Sometimes it helps to have a friend insist that you spend time with them. Missy in particular makes sure that Negra remains part of the social fabric. Missy is the self-appointed doctor of the group, examining every body part and tending to wounds. You might say that Missy has a healing touch.


After years of forced-isolation, the opportunity for Negra to develop long-lasting and trusting relationships with the other chimpanzees is one of the greatest gifts that this sanctuary has given.


Bonus moments of love!

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Please enjoy these extra photos from yesterday’s Valentine’s celebration!





Valentine’s Party 2018

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Grab your loved ones and snuggle up to watch the chimpanzees enjoy their Valentine’s Day party. Thanks to all the volunteers, supporters, and staff who helped fill the day with L❤️VE!

Happy Birthday, Akos!

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Today was sponsored by Dorottya Alpek for Akos Kery-Nagy on his birthday! Dorottya shared this message about today:

“Akos is the biggest chimpanzee fan ever since he was a little boy. Since the 14th of February is his birthday, this is my birthday present for him! We start our day and end our day checking the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest page to see the furry little chimps. They brighten up our day. We would love to thank you for your endless work for the chimps.”

Dorottya, thank you so much for sponsoring Akos’ birthday for him and the chimpanzees! It makes us so happy to know the chimpanzees have so many wonderful friends around the world.

Happy Birthday, Akos! All of the primates at CSNW wish you the best celebration yet! Thank you for caring about the chimpanzees and making a difference in their lives by sharing your day with them.



Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Like most of us, the chimpanzees eat 3 main meals a day with the occasional snack between meals. Maybe a bit differently from most of us, the chimpanzees’ meals primarily consist of fresh produce. We are extremely lucky to receive a regular donation of amazing fresh produce from Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. Our volunteers stock our fridge every couple of weeks with their generous donations. To supplement the regular donations from Darwin’s, staff members also shop at our local grocery stores. Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I can think of no better Valentine to send these 7 chimpanzees, than a gift card to keep their fridge stocked and their stomachs full! We do most of our shopping at our local Safeway and Fred Meyer stores. If you’re like me and want to skip the post office trip, you can also find Safeway gift cards on our Amazon wishlist!

The way to a chimp’s heart:

Morning solitude

Monday, February 12th, 2018

We continue to experience what feels like spring, just a much a colder version. There are moments when, much to my delight, I think it’s autumn. Despite this morning being in the low twenties, the hillsides are greening up, vines are sprouting, garden plans are swimming in our heads, and the trills of the red-winged black birds have been dipping and swirling across the pond and into the fields as they reclaim their place in this corner of the world. And it’s all happening at least a couple months early. But neither chimpanzees nor humans are complaining.

When I opened the hill up this morning the chimps marched out with purpose, each seemingly with the intent to find their own spot of sun and solitude.

Annie was the first one out:

Foxie, her Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Jody and Burrito headed up the hill together:

Foxie peeled off from the group with her dolls to head in another direction:

Missy took her chow from breakfast and raced past everyone to enjoy some privacy on a structure. But it wasn’t long before Foxie decided to join her (though I think she invited herself):

You can spot one of Foxie’s dolls on the post above her. Foxie often likes to put her dolls in precarious positions and then rescue them:

Foxie eventually decided to climb higher and join Missy:

Missy didn’t seem ready to give up her solitude as she quickly relocated:

Jamie was busy inside preparing for a walk around the hill, but to my surprise even Negra ventured out with her pine tree snack to enjoy the sun for a few moments. I love that the chimpanzees can each find solitude within whole, a space to be with one another, but apart, knowing they have each other to return to as soon as they’re ready.

Happy Birthday, Judy!

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Today was sponsored by Kathy Sorensen in celebration of her sister Judy Ford’s birthday!

“This is in honor of my sister Judy’s birthday. She has appreciated the souls of chimps for a long time. Last summer I brought her to the sanctuary and she loved it! I wish her a wonderful birthday!”

Kathy, thank you so much for including the chimpanzees in celebrating Judy’s special day! What a lovely gift for all primates involved! We’re so glad you were both able to make it out for our summer visit program.

Judy, we hope you have a beautiful birthday and so appreciate you helping to make a difference in the chimps’ lives! May your day be filled with all the things that make your heart sing!

Soul sisters, Annie and Missy:

Quiet Moments

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Another beautiful February day is in the books and the chimps couldn’t be happier! Jamie and I spent quite some time with each other today. While our amazing volunteers cleaned, Jamie and I went for a nice slow and mellow walk. The sun was shining down, the view was amazing, and you couldn’t ask for better company. All the chimps were out ripping around Young’s Hill, meanwhile Jamie and I just sauntered around. Jamie looked so relaxed and at peace (if Jamie is relaxed I know I have done my job that day). Afterward, we went in and groomed her boot, she relaxed some more and I began to knuckle rub her arm and groom her with a brush. These are the nice little moments I will cherish forever.




Foxie carrying her doll:


False Spring at the Sanctuary

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

I have to keep reminding myself that we’re just in the second week of February. It feels like the end of March outside today, and we haven’t even had much of a winter, making the warm temperature, singing birds, sun, and bare grass even more confusing.

Missy, for one, is embracing it all.

She shot out onto the hill this morning and I’ve hardly seen her indoors all day.


This sanctuary was made for her…



Thank you to everyone who makes Missy’s sanctuary life possible!