Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

Missy’s athletic prowess

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Missy is a very athletic individual. She especially loves to run, and if she accompanies Jamie on a walk around the hill, she will usually pause for a minute and let Jamie get ahead—just so she can sprint to catch up. She often has a playface when running around Young’s Hill, so she clearly gets a lot of joy from it. I would imagine after decades in a lab it must feel so freeing.

In between sprints, Missy will take brief moments to look across the valley surrounding the sanctuary. Sometimes she likes to climb up to a high perch in order to take in the view. The other day I was able to get a photo of Missy on one of the high posts, but only for a minute before she scrambled down to the ground for some more running. It’s very impressive to watch her climb down one of these posts!

Missy sit on post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post

Missy climb down post and eat snow

Dashing Burrito

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I’ll never tire of seeing this guy in our “portrait studio” — the place in the chimp house with a lot of great natural lighting. Just check these out!






A day of sanctuary and service

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Today is observed as Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the States and both Katharine Moody, and a supporter who wishes to remain anonymous, chose to sponsor this date as a day of sanctuary for the chimpanzees. Today means many things to many people. It is a day that honors Dr. King’s contribution to humankind and it represents the belief in freedom, equality, and justice for all through non-violent social change. To further honor Dr. King’s legacy, in 1994, Congress designated this federal holiday as a national day of community service – “a day on, not a day off.” We are honored that our two sponsors thought of making a difference in the chimpanzees’ lives on this day. Thank you so much, to both of you!

Katharine shared this amazingly kind message with us: “Thank you! I would not have had the opportunity to do this without you and your efforts.”

And our anonymous supporter shared this special message: “I chose this day because it represents the increased freedom experienced by the Cle Elum 7 when they were transferred from the research facility. It brings me near tears to see them roaming the hillside and lying on their backs eating grass without signs of fear. I am honored to be able to help serve each and every one of them.”

Jody enjoying a quiet moment with bamboo she harvested from Young’s Hill:

web_Jody_eat_bamboo_2_GH_jb_IMG_4287 We truly value each and every one of our supporters. We could never fully express the gratitude we have for being given the privilege of providing the chimpanzees with their lives in sanctuary. There are countless individuals and organizations, all doing incredible work, making a real difference in the lives of others, that you could choose to support and knowing this makes us feel all the more honored and full of gratitude.

Every single one of us has something valuable to give, a way to be of service and support to all living beings. Each of us is rich in this respect. And whatever inspires your compassion, makes your heart sing, follow that. Because ultimately, it benefits us all.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Jamie and Missy (background) on Young’s Hill:


Bridge construction

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

In our 2014 year-end letter, Diana mentioned that Jamie had taken it upon herself to begin demolition on the bridge in the playroom between the loft and the catwalk. Though we ordered materials for a more long-lasting bridge right away, there was a hang up with the shipping and we finally got the materials just last week! JB began the new bridge construction today:





This project proved to be pretty enriching—the chimps have been watching JB’s work from the front rooms:


Jamie and Foxie:


Elizabeth and I helped JB figure out just how to get the panels up to the second floor (it was more challenging than it seemed at first!) and we managed to get half of the bridge done today. The chimps were super curious about the new set-up, and spent some time inspecting. Missy displayed a little bit on top of it, stomping and testing the sturdiness. I think it passed her test!


Soon, the bridge will be complete! Here’s what we have to look forward to (Jamie taking a nap on the old bridge, before she tore it apart)

Jamie’s mood

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Just like all emotional beings, Jamie’s mood fluctuates. We don’t always know if we’re going to be greeted in the morning by Happy Jamie or Somewhat Cranky Jamie. Lately she’s had far more of the former than the latter, which is a huge plus for all the primates at CSNW.

If Jamie wakes up on the wrong side of the nest, her crankiness can translate into intolerance for things like dropping food (which we do a lot—especially me, who wins the Clumsiest Caregiver award every year), or playing troll toss too loudly with Foxie, or standing closer to the fencing than Jamie would like. And sometimes, it’s for what seems like no reason at all.

One thing that Somewhat Cranky Jamie doesn’t always like is when we try to take photos or videos of her, especially if she’s working on a project. But she’s been very tolerant of such activities recently, and even let me take this very up close photo of her today:


I usually thank her for letting me take her photo, and to show my appreciation, I turn the camera around so she can see what I captured. She likes to look at photos, so we will scroll through what is on the card until she turns away to find something else to do.

Today, Happy Jamie spent the afternoon getting groomed by caregiver-in-training Whitney, and played a brief game of tug-o-war and chase. Even though Jamie is very human-oriented, she doesn’t always roughhouse with her caregivers, so it’s a real treat when she allows us to play games like that with her. She also spent some quiet time grooming caregiver Lizz for awhile, and has already been on three walks, despite the drizzly overcast skies.

We love days like today… a Happy Jamie means a good day for everyone.


Jamie’s precision enrichment project

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

As many of you know, Jamie loves projects. She appreciates a challenge, and seeks out opportunities for doing things “the hard way.” It’s really the opposite of most people’s instincts, because laziness is almost a default—we ask ourselves to find the quickest way to do things which require the least amount of exertion. Conserving energy might be the ultimate cause for this instinct, but in any case, it’s how most animals (humans included) operate. Jamie, however, has other things in mind. She wants to challenge herself.

Lately, when I serve breakfast, I have a little routine with Jamie. I give her a cup which she pins against the fencing, and then I place her servings in the bowl. So as I hand fruit pieces to the mouths or hands of the other chimps, I put Jamie’s in her bowl and she spends time fishing the piece out of the bowl. Once she gets the slice, she sort of leans the bowl my direction so I can refill it. Doing things the hard way tend to just make her happy. It’s awful to imagine the trauma she must have experienced from boredom in her previous life in biomedical research.

We can’t ever make up for what she must have gone through, but we try to give her as many challenges and projects as we can to keep her happy. Sometimes her projects come from surprising places—like today, I caught her playing with this enrichment toy for quite awhile. The small poles could be pushed through the holes in the wood center, and she would do just that and then flip it over and start again. The thing I found interesting was her technique—rather than just using her fingers to push the poles, she used another pole as a tool. You can see in the video just how precise she was with each push.

After taking some video of this activity I showed it to Jamie, who was interested in watching herself for a brief moment before returning to her project (watch until the very end to see that bit).

Go Hawks!

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Today is Blue Friday, which around the Seattle area means that fans shows their support for the Seahawks by wearing their favorite blue and green Seahawks gear. Since the team will be playing in their first playoff game tomorrow night, we thought we’d join in the spirit and throw a Blue Friday party for the chimps! We had broccoli and grapes for a forage, as well as tea in blue and green champagne flutes, and watered down blue gatorade in Seahawks cups.

The party set-up:



The blue drinks were a bit hit! Everyone had a taste.








Jamie loved the table we setup with the forage and the decorations:

Jamie drink tea

Jamie eat broccoli

Jamie Seahawks football

We’re glad we were able to throw a fun party for the chimps in the spirit of camaraderie of the pacific northwest fans. Running a sanctuary is all about teamwork, and we are lucky to have some really great fans of our own!


Happy Birthday, Burrito!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

For B’s big day we centered everything around his favorites: food, food, and more food! We spread out the meals into many different portions so that about every hour the chimps had a quick snack. We also had a small forage in each of the enclosures, so it was basically Burrito’s dream come true—a way to eat pretty much the entire day away.

Here’s some photos of the birthday guy’s first party in the greenhouse, where we had a chow and tea forage:

Mr. B:








And then in the playroom we had more tea, some blackberries, and lettuce to snack on:





Thanks to all of Burrito’s pals for helping make this day great for him and again to Tracy and Jenny who sponsored the day!

Low-key play

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Missy and Annie tend to play rough when they wrestle, but Missy tones it down a little for the elder and slower Negra. Here you can see some quiet low-key play between Negra and Missy, but toward the end Annie steps in and Missy picks up the pace a bit.

Welcoming in the New Year

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

We are all continuously so amazed by how generous our supporters are—truly, you all keep this sanctuary running! We are able to give Jamie, Foxie, Burrito, Missy, Annie, Negra, and Jody a cozy warm home, good healthy food, long-lasting friendships with caregivers, and an endless supply of trolls, boots, and other enrichment directly because of YOU.

This year, our family of staff and supporters has grown stronger and our hearts have only gotten bigger from how grateful we are to see these seven special beings live their lives without the fear of being in confined biomedical lab cages—not knowing what would happen next.

Now, you can see in their eyes they trust us. They trust us. It truly amazes me after all they’ve been through, that they not only forgive humans, but learn to build friendships with confidence, trust us with their most prized possessions, and even help us out when needed. It’s because of your support that we can maintain these important relationships with these chimpanzees and provide them with hope, love, home, and sanctuary.

Our goal for year-end giving of individual donations was fairly optimistic, but we’re getting closer and closer every minute that we creep toward welcoming 2015. As I write this, we are just $1,512 short of our goal for year-end giving! In just a few short hours, you can help us make it to our goal for this year (or surpass it!)

Dora and friends got dressed up for the New Year’s Eve bash:
Dora the Explorer on NYE

Everyone enjoyed a sparkling apple cider forage, especially Jamie:
jamie drink cider

jamie drink cider

jamie drink cider

jamie drink cider

Missy had her own technique:
missy drink cider

Everyone else was busy collecting the nuts and coconut flakes we scattered around like confetti:



jody forage

negra forage

negra forage

Cheers to you and yours, and Happy New Year from all of us at
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest!