Archive for the ‘Young’s Hill’ Category

Country chimps

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Chimpanzee sanctuaries naturally tend to be in rural areas. And as you might imagine, for chimpanzees who have spent the majority of their lives to date in biomedical research, finding themselves exploring their outdoor habitats in the country can bring enrichment in all manner of forms.

This morning was beautiful, the grass is a brighter shade of green with each passing day and the chimps love pouring out onto the hill after breakfast to play and investigate things. Foxie took Dora (with a windswept coif) along this morning and decided to take in the surroundings in a quiet spot while deciding where her morning adventure would begin:

Annie and Missy came tumbling up the hill together and Foxie decided to follow them further up toward the structures:

As Jamie and I were walking along the perimeter together, I noticed Foxie in the background suddenly stick Dora in her mouth and with a determined look head quickly across the hill toward the fence, on a mission.

Then I realized what her mission was probably about. “Intruder” cows who needed to be run off! (Meanwhile, Annie – in the foreground – was happily picking spring grass and could have cared less about the cows):

But fierce Foxie wasn’t having it and Jamie quickly backed her friend up to chase the cows down the hill. These sweet calves belong to our neighbor and are currently grazing a portion of our property. Can you imagine what the cows’ perspective must be when they first see the chimps? Scanning their mental repertoires of possible fellow animals and thinking, “Squirrels? No…Dogs? No…Horses? No…What???”:

Notice Annie still just going about her business 🙂 :

Annie looking after Jamie, Foxie and the cows, as they all ran by, probably trying to figure out what all the hullabaloo was about:

For Earth Day and the chimpanzees!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

This day was sponsored by Debbie Bloom in honor of the chimpanzees and this beautiful Earth we all share. She shares this lovely message about today:

“In honor of Earth Day it seems appropriate to celebrate all of these beautiful creatures. They bring such joy and intrigue into our lives – especially mine. I only wish that I could read their minds.” 

Debbie, on this day in which we’re given a special opportunity to honor and celebrate this amazing earth, and to protect and preserve all we cherish, we love that you’ve chosen to include the chimps. Thank you so much for honoring the special individuals they are and all they bring to our lives just by being themselves.

There is so much to love on this earth. Especially these seven chimpanzees. Safe, thriving and loved in a beautiful world to call their own, thanks to each of you.








The impersonator

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

When we train new volunteers and interns to identify the Cle Elum 7, we emphasize the importance of ignoring circumstantial evidence. Does that chimp have a blanket over their head? Yes. Who likes to cover themselves with blankets? Negra! If we see a chimpanzee covering themselves with a blanket can we positively ID that chimp as Negra? Absolutely not!
Exhibit A:

Negra sits next to a covered up Missy, aka Fake Neggie

Today I caught this “Fake Foxie” impersonator out on Young’s Hill. Let’s test your identification skills!

A perfect spot

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

If you are Jamie, your perfect spot at the sanctuary is out on Young’s Hill performing a perimeter patrol.

If you’re Missy, you are also out on Young’s Hill, just moving at light speed!

If you’re Annie, your favorite spot is on a high platform with the sun on your face (with Missy close by of course).

If you’re Foxie, your perfect spot is anywhere you can take your favorite doll.

If you’re Jody, your favorite spot is right in the middle of a giant nest being groomed by your friends.

If you’re Negra, your favorite spot is the coziest, most sun-filled area you can possibly find.

And if you’re Burrito, your favorite spot isn’t as important as making sure your mouth and hands are both full of food at the exact same time!

Easter 2017 Part II

Monday, April 17th, 2017

The day after the big celebration the chimpanzees have been napping, resting and eating light, recovering from yesterday’s all day party! As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, here are a few photos from the first Young’s Hill forage of the year (aka Easter Party #2):

Annie picking carrots we “buried” for the chimps to harvest:

Jody and Negra (Negra was ALL over the place! It was her day 🙂 ):

Jody finds a quiet spot to enjoy her spoils:

Missy scored on corn:

Foxie and Dora on the hunt for Easter eggs filled with nuts and berries:

Boss lady, Jamie, thrilled with her beloved leeks:

And a bonus video of Easter shenanigans from the breakfast forage:

Ok… Now it’s spring!

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

It’s not officially spring in Cle Elum until Negra eats her first handful of fresh green grass on Young’s Hill.

Outdoor fun with Foxie

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Today as Jamie, Katelyn, and I headed out for an afternoon perimeter walk around Young’s Hill, we were joined by the rest of the chimpanzees (minus Negra). Foxie quickly became the life of the party at the top of the hill as she wrestled and chased with both Jamie and Missy.

When chimpanzees play, there is a lot of foot grabbing that goes on. Foxie is particularly adept at dancing out of these playful grabs.

Slapping is also a popular play move:

And don’t forget about chasing!

Somewhere in all this activity, Foxie dropped her Dora Doll. Jody put it in her right hip “pocket” for safe keeping and took it back to the greenhouse. I know it’s a bit blurry, but can you spot Dora’s wild brown hair peeking out?

A few more of today’s mischief maker:

Today’s happenings

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Hands down, today is the loveliest day we’ve seen in quite some time. The air is fresh and the with only a slight breeze. The chimps have been enjoying themselves with a variety of choices today, from roaming Young’s Hill throughout the day to nesting and grooming in the toasty sun-warmed greenhouse, to crazy games in the playroom.

Foxie began her day by tossing her new France Dora doll on her back (this is how chimp mamas carry their young) and heading up Young’s Hill for a morning stroll:

Missy has been asking for weeks to have the barn doors at the end of the playroom open so she can see if the garden popped up overnight yet. We usually give her a quick peek, but it’s still too cold to leave them open for more than a few minutes. But today was the first time it was actually warm enough to leave them open for about an hour so the chimps enjoyed sitting in the sun and watching Keri begin garden preparation!

Missy took a break from garden duty to head over for a game of ghost tug o’ war with me. You know that game, right? Put a blanket over your head and play tug o’ war? And then stand on your head, of course (Missy, not me!).

Of course, Jamie made sure to supervise Keri with all those tools (someone had to):

Jody enjoyed snoozing in a sun puddle:

And I think dear, sweet Annie summed up the day best for all of us as she closed her eyes and lifted her face to the sun:



The den mother

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

We refer to Jody as the “mom” of the group for many reasons. She is concerned about sticking to the daily routine at the sanctuary and cares deeply for the well-being of her group mates. If someone is late to mealtime, she makes it her duty to go and find them. On Young’s Hill, she is often seen keeping an eye out for the other chimps and is always on hand to lend a little bit of reassurance. When she’s not checking up on others, she finds time to do a little exploring of her own.

Time to Move!

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Foxie look camera


In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move. ~Henry Rollins


Photos from today.


Foxie & Burrito:

Foxie and Burrito walk

Foxie climb twister

Burrito walking



Jody walking



Missy running