Archive for the ‘Wishlist’ Category


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:

Fifth Day of Thanks, Featuring Vicki Fagerlee & Foxie

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Yesterday, J.B. took some photos of the chimpanzees enjoying their post-Thanksgiving morning romp on the hill. It was a beautiful morning yesterday and the chimpanzees wasted no time in taking advantage of the sunshine. There are some great images of Foxie in this post below!

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

In case you missed the first four posts, day one featured legacy donor Bruce Davidson + Burrito, day two featured event donor Kathy Cochran + Annie, day three featured recurring donor Julie Olson + Jody, and day four featured challenge and competition donor Monica Best + Negra.

For the fifth day of thanks, we are sending big thanks to Vicki Fagerlee and everyone who sends items via our wishlist. Vicki won a “spend the day behind-the-scenes at the sanctuary” auction item a few years ago and traveled halfway across the country for that unique experience. It was really special for the staff to be able to meet Vicki in person and get to know her, and to introduce her to the chimpanzees who she had been following via the internet. Vicki also donates cold hard cash, but she likes to supplement her cash donations by browsing the wish list for all of the somewhat boring supplies needed to run the chimp house and fun stuff for the chimpanzees too.

Here’s what Vicki had to stay about her wish list giving:

It’s an easy way to contribute to the functioning of the sanctuary and the happiness of the chimpanzees. With the wish list, I know what I’m buying is exactly what is needed. Plus it makes me feel so good to give in a small way. You are all so special and I saw first-hand all that it takes to keep things going on a daily basis.

She also added this about following the blog, “Your daily updates put me in my happy place.”

That last sentiment made my day. I just love knowing that people are following the lives of the chimpanzees and that these seven chimpanzee people bring happiness to a lot of human people out there.

For those who even just casually check in on the blog once in a while, you likely are very aware of Foxie’s love of dolls. Her main and original love is troll dolls:

foxie troll on neck


but she also likes Dora the Explorer and friends:


and the occasional “other” doll:


Her main type seems to be handheld size dolls with hard plastic bodies, big eyes, and a bonus for colorful hair.

Like any collector, Foxie has her old favorites. Today she has been carrying around a standard troll with orange hair that is missing one eye and is one firm bite away from being without feet. Each time I passed her by during the cleaning routine this morning, she pushed this troll out to me.

I think it was the same doll that she carried around all day last week:

foxie holding troll


Also like a true collector, Foxie  is always excited when new dolls arrive for her in the mail. So we do add dolls to our amazon wish list once in a while. There are a lot of materials that we’re not able to give to the chimpanzees (see the long list here), so when items are purchased from the wish list, you know they have been pre-approved by the staff.

Recently, Foxie’s been into a line of Strawberry Shortcake dolls. She had one of them on her morning romp on the hill yesterday. Here are those photos taken by J.B. that I promised:

foxie and the landscape

foxie holding doll

foxie tossing doll

A different doll for Foxie!

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Foxie goes through phases where she takes special interest in one of her dolls. When it’s not being tossed playfully to caregivers, this purple haired doll has been by her side for weeks:

It’s pretty different than her usual loves, not a Dora or a troll doll, but something that we’ve never seen before. After a little bit of investigation, we found out that she’s a Strawberry Shortcake doll! We’re excited for Foxie to be branching out a little bit and for all the fun shopping that comes with it (this doll has friends with many different colors of hair after all)!

Zoomed In and Out

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for close up photos of the chimpanzees. There’s something about seeing every little detail of their faces that draws me in, captivates me and has me wanting to know more about them. Close-ups show every little fold of skin, every freckle, every speck of color in their eyes that help tell them apart from one another.

For instance, take a look at Missy. What do you see when you look at these photos?



As much as I love these close-ups, I also love the zoomed out photos; the ones where I have to take time to find the chimpanzee “hidden” among the bamboo and grass or on the various structures on Young’s Hill. I find that the zoomed out photos also help tell the story of each chimp, their preferences, their abilities and their character, that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to tell from a closeup. I also find these types of photos help to convey just how far they’ve come since finding sanctuary at CSNW.

For example, the following photos show Missy’s ability to tightrope walk with precision balance and her preference to explore the highest of heights that can be found on Young’s Hill. She’s certainly come a long way from the windowless basement where she lived prior to coming to CSNW.





Of course, these photos and videos wouldn’t be possible without the kindness and generosity of our supporters! Thanks to all of you who have donated time, money, expertise and purchased items off of our Amazon wishlist over the years and most recently for our “Christmas in July” celebration! Your help has literally made all of the difference in the world, helping us to share photos and videos of the Cle Elum Seven with supporters from around the world! And a special thank you goes out to whoever purchased the new computer that now sits in front of me (please let us know who you are since there was no gift receipt with it)!! The new computer will allow us to expand on what we do, plus enable us to make videos of the footage we gather with our new (to us) GoPro cameras.

The Christmas in July Celebration

Friday, July 29th, 2016

I have to admit, with temperatures pushing 100 degrees it’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit. But after receiving dozens of items from our wish list over the past week, you can’t help but feel the spirit of giving in the air.


We’re so grateful for the support you’ve shown us – you helped stock our shelves with office and cleaning supplies; you gave us new medical equipment so that we can keep the chimps healthy; you sent food and treats for the chimps to enjoy and toys and enrichment to keep them occupied; and you gave us two gently used GoPro cameras so that we can give you a different perspective on life at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. We are truly humbled and grateful for your generosity.

This morning, we collected many of the items we’ve received so far and threw a little party for the chimps. I hope you can see the difference you make in their lives.

By the way, if you sent an item from our wish list and you don’t hear from us in a reasonable amount of time, please drop us a note. Packages from Amazon don’t always include information about the donor and we’d love to be able to thank you!

Merry Christmas in July!

Love at first sight!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

The amazing supporters of the sanctuary are always sending packages to Jamie that contain interesting pairs of cowboy boots. Today, staff caregiver Katelyn got to present Jamie with her newest donated pair to add to her collection.

Lots and lots of paper

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

We’ve posted about the enrichment theme “lots of paper” before, but it never gets old with the chimps. They love it, so we try to work that theme into each month—so long as we have extra paper to spare. Yesterday we had plenty, including a bunch of paper from some boxes that were shipped from Amazon when people sent us supplies we needed from our wishlist. You probably didn’t know you were helping us stock the shelves AND enriching the chimps at the same time did you? 🙂

Jamie definitely appreciated the extra paper, and we threw in some crepe paper, toilet paper, and a big roll of red paper for additional nesting materials. She built the biggest paper nest I’ve seen! It was an all day project that she returned to a few times to perfect her comfy spot.

First, she started with the brown paper from the Amazon boxes and added the giant roll of red paper.









She abandoned it at one point (probably to go on a perimeter walk of Young’s Hill) and you can see just how elaborate it is:


Later she returned and added some toilet paper, which she reportedly had wrapped around her like a mummy but when the paparazzi (Elizabeth) arrived she quickly brushed it off herself. The toilet paper added a nice softness to the nest and she curled up with some boots to take a mid-day nap.




Keeping Jamie enriched

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

One of the biggest challenges of this job is keeping Jamie enriched. The other chimps certainly need enrichment, too, but Jamie in particular requires a lot to keep her engaged. So I’m continually trying to find things that will be enriching for her. Kongs are a good food puzzle for the chimps because we can put nuts, peanut butter, or even mushed banana into the crevices making it tricky to get the treat out.

Recently I discovered these Kong “Genius” toys which connect together, and I thought it seemed perfect for Jamie! Thanks to Carrie M. who ordered a bunch of these Kongs for us off our Amazon wishlist recently, we were able to make several connected Kongs. Jamie of course hoarded many of them, but all the chimps were able to enjoy this puzzle. You’ll hear in the video just how happy Jamie is with all her food groans and grunts.



Speaking of Jamie and of the wishlist, we are in desperate need of a new boot dryer! Ours broke yesterday and as you can imagine we are constantly running the dryers to get Jamie’s boots quickly dry after we wash them. Dry boots makes for a happy Jamie! Both she and I would be forever grateful to anyone that is able to purchase a new one for us. If you do grab anything from the list now or anytime in the future, send me an email at so we can be sure to send you a thank you! (UPDATE: Thank you Patrick and Carrie for purchasing the boot dryer for us! The boss will be happy).


Enriching Jamie

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Caregiver Debbie recently ordered a new food puzzle for the chimpanzees. She just got one of them for now so we could make sure it was chimp-proof (safe and sturdy) and up to Jamie’s standards. Since Jamie’s mind is always three steps ahead, she’s hard to keep enriched. One of our daily priorities is finding projects and puzzles that challenge or entertain her. If something keeps her occupied for a few minutes, we consider it a success!

The new food puzzle was a success, as you’ll see in this video.

Chimps’ Choice: Clean House!

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Every day, we clean the chimpanzees’ enclosures to make sure they can enjoy a nice and tidy home. This is what occupies a large portion of a caregiver’s day—and it takes a lot of elbow grease, but we are happy to do it! As you can imagine we go through cleaning supplies pretty quickly. Some of the items we are frequently in need of are gloves, dish soap (which is what we use to scrub the floors), disinfectant, garbage bags, and miscellaneous tools like scrubber pads or bottle brushes (perfect for scrubbing enrichment).

web becca volunteer clean PR (ek) IMG_2090

Volunteer Becca cleans the upstairs story of the playroom

I try to keep our Amazon Wishlist updated frequently when we start to run low on these things, for those folks that like to help us out with in-kind donations. Check out the list—right now there’s a bunch of supplies marked as the “highest priority,” but it is always changing. Sometimes we have enrichment items for the chimps like Kong puzzles or sturdy plastic toys, or food items like peanut butter, soymilk, or tea.

NOTE: Amazon does not send us information about who purchased the wonderful gifts for us, so if you choose to send us something from the list (whether it’s today or anytime in the future) please let me know at and we’ll be sure to send you a thank you! If you have any other questions about things on the Wishlist please feel free to send me an email.