Archive for the ‘Sanctuary’ Category

A Whole New View

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

The chimpanzees didn’t have much of a view in the lab.

My, how that’s changed.

A look back at Jamie

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

This video speaks for itself. Take a look at Jamie nine years ago and today.

Looking Out

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

When we open the door to Young’s Hill each morning, Jody is usually the first outside. She sits for a moment at the end of the raceway looking out on the 2-acre enclosure. Maybe she’s checking that all is well, or maybe she’s making plans for the day.

Burrito falls asleep

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Not even the most energetic, chaos driven chimpanzee can resist napping in the warm sun and gentle breeze of the greenhouse.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

We have a wonderful surprise day of sanctuary today sponsored by Dylan Most, who just wanted to give a little love to the chimps and celebrate the first day of summer!

Dylan, what a lovely gift! Thank you so much for thinking of the chimps and all of us here at the sanctuary. It’s hard to believe it’s summer! But the easeful, peaceful and joyful days are welcome by us all and it’s so wonderful to see the chimps relishing it all. We are grateful to your kind heart for helping to make theirs lives as beautiful as possible.

Be it your summer or winter, all of us are wishing all of you a beautiful solstice! And happy summer to all our northern hemisphere folks!








Jody’s eyes

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Jody’s eyes are framed by her distinct heart shaped brow ridge. This ridge has little extra wrinkles which make it all the more pronounced. Her eyes are also a bit closer together than some of the other chimps. These characteristics combine to give her an intensely earnest expression. Sometimes she looks a bit permanently surprised. There is no ignoring her beauty.

For Zach the awesome nephew!

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Today’s day of sanctuary was sponsored by long-time friend of the chimps, Stephen Maluk, in honor of his nephew, Zach Plastaras. Stephen shared this message about today:

“Zach, often known simply as The Nephew, recently graduated from 6th grade and is kind to animals.”

Stephen, thank you so much for including the chimpanzees as you celebrate Zach, his accomplishments, and so importantly, his kind heart. We truly appreciate all you and your family do to help us care for these amazing beings.

Zach, congratulations on your graduation! Thank you so much for caring about animals! It’s people like you who the chimpanzees and other fellow animals of the world will depend on in the future to care, protect and honor them and we’re really grateful to you for being their friend. All of us at CSNW hope you have an awesome summer!


We wish we were as cool as Missy

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Missy is beautiful, kind, joyful, goofy, serious, independent, self-assured, and the most loyal of friends you could hope for; she’ll back you up no questions asked. Well, if you’re a chimp friend that is. When the humans have been deemed to have “wronged” one of her family members she is often the first to let us know and she will hurl her tiny self onto the caging in front of you with shocking force while repeatedly kicking it and threat barking in your face with all her might.

One of my favorite memories of Missy is a time when I was trying to serve her something and Jamie decided she didn’t want that to happen and let me know by hitting the caging and threat barking at me. Given that Jamie is the dominant chimp in this society, it’s her right to do so. Even though Missy had her hand out in anticipation, she immediately backed Jamie up and joined in threat barking at me, seemingly incensed that I had tried to do something so egregious. The second Jamie walked away though, Missy immediately asked for the item again (and gestured to be quick about it!) until Jamie caught sight of us and the whole scene played out again. Missy is brilliant at chimpanzee politics.

On nights that Jamie chooses to have the door to Young’s Hill remain open she will often seemingly employ Missy to guard the door while she goes inside to retrieve something she wants. Missy doesn’t usually have any interest in the door remaining open or not and is typically ready for bed, but don’t think you are going to close that door with her standing guard in the boss’s absence.

Honestly, Missy’s a bit of a thug. And we couldn’t love her more.

In other news, one of our volunteers, Jake, discovered the hit of the summer to come! It’s hot today and we were lamenting not having any ice to run through the chimps’ snow cone machine. The chimps have access to water all day, but we occasionally offer ice snacks to help keep them cool and hydrated. So Jake brilliantly decided to experiment with running frozen grapes and a touch of strawberries through the machine and it was an immense hit with chimps and humans alike! They literally melt in your mouth. Go immediately and buy yourselves snow cone machines and grapes to freeze!



Sunday, June 18th, 2017

The majority of our chimp house volunteers have no direct interaction with the chimpanzees. The caregivers you see on our blog playing with the chimps or serving them meals are either staff or specially trained, long-term volunteers. Volunteers are typically with us for at least a year before they are eligible for this training. The training process lasts several months, and volunteers are required to commit to at least another year as volunteers after that.

These volunteers learn not only how to safely interact with the chimpanzees, but how to be good chimp friends. They learn chimp behavior and etiquette so that they can communicate with the chimps in their own language and integrate seamlessly into the social group. They become important and stable parts of the chimps’ circle of friends.

Perfectly ordinary days

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now ­­– the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.
-Katrina Kenison