Valentine’s Party 2018

February 14th, 2018 by Anna

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!

February 14th, 2018 by Katelyn

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.



February 13th, 2018 by Anna

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

February 12th, 2018 by Katelyn

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!

February 12th, 2018 by Katelyn

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

February 11th, 2018 by Kelsi

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

February 10th, 2018 by Diana

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!

Play All Day (while the humans work)

February 9th, 2018 by J.B.

Lately, Missy and Annie have been doing what they do best – playing all day!

Meanwhile, the humans have been busting their butts to move caging, glass, and other material from the former Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) at Central Washington University before its demolition.

The building had sat largely empty in the years since Tatu, Loulis, and many of the staff and students associated with Friends of Washoe moved from campus to the Fauna Foundation in Canada. When the university determined that the building would be torn down to accommodate construction of a new dorm, they agreed to remove as much reusable material as possible and donate it to CSNW for use in our upcoming expansion. (Click here for a video from local news channel KAPP about the donation). But a jump in the timeline for the building’s demolition meant we had to get the material out with little notice. Thankfully, an emergency call to our local supporters on Facebook was met with an enthusiastic response, and just days later we had trucks, trailers, and lots of manual labor lined up and ready to help. In only a few hours, we loaded thousands of pounds of caging, steel doors, and 270-lb chimp-proof windows…

…and then unloaded it all at the sanctuary.

Alan, an CSNW intern, made the mistake of volunteering on the day that we needed to manually unload the nearly 4,500-lb of glass from the trailer. He is young, however, and likely had the use of his arms the next day, unlike some of us.

Our expansion project has been full of frustrating setbacks throughout the permitting process – lately around the location and design of a new driveway we are required to put in – but we are getting closer! And when we do break ground, we will do so knowing that we will be putting this material to good use and saving thousands of dollars in the process. It is a small but significant part of CHCI’s legacy, and a great way to remember and honor the chimpanzees that taught us so much.


February 8th, 2018 by Elizabeth

A year ago yesterday we posted this video of Jamie exploring a sandbox. Jamie takes her job as boss very seriously, and she doesn’t often sit back and kick her feet up, so to speak. But something about sifting through the sand seemed to captivate and relax her. And watching this video captivates and relaxes us.

And here’s a bonus portrait of the Zen master herself.

In memory of Susan

February 8th, 2018 by Katelyn

Jen and James Douglas have graciously been sponsoring this date for the past few years in loving memory of their dear friend, Susan von Beck Turner. Today is Susan’s birthday and a beautiful day to remember her legacy of compassion and care and the difference she made in the lives of so many dogs and humans. Learn more about Susan here.

Jen and James, thank you for honoring such a lovely human and all the good she brought to the world. Our thoughts are with you and Susan’s friends and family and we’re sending you all good thoughts for memories of comfort and joy.

Beautiful, beloved Annie:

Annie chin hair