Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

Happy Birthday, Karen!

Friday, May 27th, 2016

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Ruth Mazner in honor of her daughter-in-law, Karen Emmerman Mazner, on her birthday! Karen and her family are such good friends to the chimpanzees and we are thrilled to share in her celebration! Ruth shared this lovely message about Karen:

“Karen is a strong advocate for animal rights. She devotes her life to teaching others that all living beings need to be treated with respect and love.”

Ruth, thank you so much for thinking of the chimpanzees as you honor Karen today with such a beautiful gift! We are so grateful to have the honor not only of knowing and caring for these seven amazing chimpanzees, but to be surrounded by all of the inspiring and compassionate humans they bring into all of our lives.

Karen, thank you so very much to you and your family for being part of our chimp family and for seeing them for the amazing beings they are. Our hearts are full of gratitude for all that you do to provide the chimps with lives in which their hearts and souls are ever expanding. All of us here at CSNW wish you the happiest of birthdays yet!!






Happy Birthday, Marsha!

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

This day of sanctuary was sponsored by Bruce Wagman in honor of Marsha Perelman on her birthday! Bruce and Marsha are both amazing friends to not only the chimpanzees, but to animals everywhere, and we’re thrilled to celebrate Marsha’s special day here today! Bruce shared this wonderful message about today:

“About ten or more years ago, through the most random of coincidences involving asbestos, I was introduced to Marsha.  Over the course of time since then, she has been a client, a teacher, a student, a partner, and most important of all, a dear friend.  And she has been an invaluable supporter of the Cle Elum Seven and other chimpanzees, in more ways than anyone can count, but in essence, by giving them her heart (while keeping big chunks of it for her dogs).  All sorts of animals are so lucky Marsha’s heart was born.  As an example of Marsha’s heart in play:  When I told Marsha about the lives of the CSNW chimps before they got to their Cle Elum bliss, her immediate response was, “I just want to go there and meet them and tell them I’m sorry.”  No need, Marsha.  Your actions have made that clear.  Happy Birthday to a true companion along the road to make up for what has been done to the world’s superior species.”

Many thanks to you, Bruce, for sponsoring such a special day in honor of Marsha! We are so full of gratitude to have humans such as yourselves sharing your incredible hearts in the world and for all you both do to make the lives of not only these seven very special chimpanzees better in every way possible, but for the countless other amazing beings whose lives you’ve made a difference in.

Happiest of birthdays to you, Marsha, we hope your day is full of all the love, joy and comfort you provide to so many others! Thank you so much for being part of our chimp family. And hoots of happiness to you from these seven beautiful chimp people:














Negra close-up

Today is in memory Judy Matthews

Monday, May 9th, 2016

It’s been a beautiful weekend of celebration of our beloved Jody’s birthday and honoring both the mothers who the chimpanzees lost and the mothers who they are. We are honored to continue the celebration with today’s day of sanctuary in memory of Judy Matthews, sponsored by her daughter, Ronda Cluff. Ronda sent this beautiful message about her mother:

“This donation is in memory of my mother, Judy Matthews, who nurtured my love and respect for animals by teaching me from the earliest age that “do unto others” applies to all creatures. She continued her support of me as I became a vegetarian and animal activist and even thanked ME for teaching HER to see the world a little differently”

Ronda, your mother sounds like such a special person and we are so touched that you would choose to honor her through helping to provide the chimpanzees with the nurturing home and lives they deserve. Thank you so much for choosing to live your life in such a compassionate way and for all you do for animals. What a beautiful way to honor your mother’s memory each day. As we celebrate Judy’s life here today, our thoughts and gratitude are with you both! Thank you for making a difference in the chimps’ lives!




Water and Ice Enrichment on a Hot Day

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

There’s a whole crew of people here building a new structure on Young’s Hill today! We will do a big reveal on Monday, so start making your predictions as to what the structure will look like.

Because there are humans on the hill, the chimpanzees don’t have access. And today is HOT! It feels like summer. With these two circumstances combined, we needed to come up with something cooling and time-occupying for the chimpanzees. We decided on water and ice enrichment.


I’d say it was a hit.



Annie drinking from table



Missy picking up ice

Missy eating ice

Missy eating ice while looking at camera



Burrito next to table

Burrito chilling out

Burrito drinking water



Foxie with water


Jamie making up her own enrichment (of course):

Jamie with toothbrush and water 1

Jamie with toothbrush and water 2

Jamie with toothbrush and water 3


ANNIE and Family for the 3rd day of HOOT!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

J.B. and I met Annie eight and a half years ago, along with the rest of the chimpanzees who were to become The Cle Elum Seven.

From the very first blog post we wrote about her (read it here), when we talked about Annie, we talked about her friendship with Missy. Her clear love for and reliance on her friend Missy was her defining characteristic.

But Annie is coming into her own.

While some of the chimpanzees are taking advantage of the sanctuary and living out the childhood that they never had (notably Foxie – just watch the video re-posted to the blog yesterday), I think Annie has been experiencing a bit of a rebellious adolescence lately.

It was clear from day one that Annie was at the bottom of the hierarchy of the seven chimpanzees. We’ve written about her anxiety and lack of confidence in social situations many times. And we’ve told you that her confidence has skyrocketed in the last few years. What we might not have mentioned is that she’s moved beyond confidence to downright moxie.

As a general rule, timidity is not a trait that is revered in the chimpanzee social world. Chimpanzees can be a rough bunch, and if you’re not prepared to walk your talk (or would that be walk your pant-hoot?), you might find yourself in a perilous situation.

While Annie remains sweet and soulful, she is learning that she can be just as tough as the other ladies and gent, and she is much less likely to back down during conflicts now. In fact, sometimes she is the one starting them. If she feels wronged, she won’t just have a self-directed anxiety-laden outburst as she did in the past, she will let the group know she’s not only upset, but she’s not putting up with it.


On Saturday, we will be raising funds at HOOT! for our Expansion Fund. We have some big dreams for the future of the sanctuary, and we will be sharing these, including a surprise announcement, at the gala.

We have received a matching grant pledge from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund for $50,000. Laura Bonar, Fund Advisor for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund and Chief Program & Policy Officer at Animal Protection of New Mexico, will be one of our special guests at the event!

That grant and the matching funds that we will raise on Saturday will go towards our first phase of expansion. This means that we will be adding more chimpanzees to the group in the near future.

We are still seeing the individual personalities and the group dynamics of the Cle Elum Seven change after almost eight years, and this will be a whole new and thrilling chapter in the lives of Annie and her six family members.

Who knows how we will be describing Annie’s position three or four years from now. What I do know is all of the chimpanzees will continue to change and grow and experience life in new ways.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Annie hoot image

Today is for chimpanzees, Monica, and Gary Best

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Several years ago (seven to be exact!), the chimpanzees’ good friend and supporter, Monica Best, chose to celebrate her birthday by proclaiming April 23rd “Love a Chimpanzee Day” and she has sponsored it each year since for the chimpanzees. And this year as we celebrate chimpanzees and Monica we are also celebrating in memory of Monica’s dad, Gary Best.

Monica, you have the biggest heart, full of generosity and compassion. We are so grateful to you for all you do not only for the chimps, but for so many other animals in the world. We are honored to celebrate your dad here today – he must have been quite a man to have a daughter like you. All of us here are wishing you a day full of the comfort, love and joy you provide for so many others.

Happy Birthday, Monica, and Happy Love a Chimpanzee Day!




These Eyes

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

These eyes have seen a lot in their 39 years:

Foxie looking


These arms have had babies torn from them:

Foxie with arms crossed


This body has been viewed and treated as nothing more than a tool to experiment with:

Foxie full body


This face is now loved by hundreds of people:

Foxie side glance

Foxie close up


This post is for the love of Foxie in recognition of where she came from and how far away from that life she is now, thanks to everyone who has cared. Learn more about Foxie on her web page and in this post.



Missy’s Green Pepper Play

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

The chimpanzees have had many bell peppers donated from a local grocery store lately, so today we did an exciting whole pepper forage on the hill!


Missy made a play for two of the peppers:



Jody made an attempt to force a turnover:



But Missy drove to the end zone:



Once the play was complete, she checked for injuries:



And then sat back and enjoyed her touchdown:




This post was inspired by one of the new personalized stones that is part of the Dr. Mel Richardson Memorial Walkway!

Jordan Hill Foundation

Thanks Jordan Hill!

Chimps and Dolls

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

Chimpanzees are powerful, intelligent, adaptable, and sometimes aggressive wild animals. They do not belong in people’s homes as pets. They do not belong on training compounds used for television shows, music videos, movies and advertisements.

They belong in equatorial Africa where they live in large social groups, foraging and hunting their own food.

When that’s not possible, when where they belong has been taken away, and when they have been born into and grown up in captivity, a sanctuary is the best option for them. And sanctuary means taking the individual chimpanzees on their own terms and letting them find things they enjoy – things that may be very far from the image of the wild animals who they are.

For Foxie, that means dolls. It’s not that she is like a human child, or even that she’s using the dolls as substitute children (though maybe that’s part of it, given her history). Foxie has found something she likes, something that entertains and comforts her.

Foxie is still very much a powerful, intelligent, adaptable, and sometimes aggressive chimpanzee.

Foxie with red haired doll


And Jamie too. I can’t imagine too many things more silly than a troll scarf, but Jamie manages to wear a troll scarf while at the same time projecting the strong chimpanzee that she is.

Jamie wearing troll scarf

Jamie’s choice

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Jamie spent her childhood living with a trainer. Her records are scarce, but she was most likely used in some form of entertainment before being purchased for use in biomedical research at around the age of nine. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating to see chimpanzees (or any wild animal) robbed of their natural lives, their childhood, and their family and social structures in order to provide so-called “entertainment” for humans. While we cannot change the histories the chimpanzees have experienced, or the fact that they will be in captivity for the rest of their lives, we do our best to provide them the space to be themselves, exactly as they choose in every minute of the day. A safe, dignified and loving home in which their “chimpanzee-ness” can come out.

We give the chimpanzees a variety of enrichment each day to keep their curious and intelligent minds engaged as much as possible, but whether they play with it, nest with it, tear it up or ignore it, it’s their choice. Jamie is highly intelligent and most likely as a result of her unnatural history, she is also very human oriented in her interests. She will often choose to use enrichment in ways that the other chimps don’t. But that’s the key – she gets to choose. When Jamie first arrived here she periodically chose to wear clothing that was included in enrichment, but over time her desire to do this has faded away and thankfully been replaced by chimp like activities such as walking the perimeter, playing with her friends, and being the boss of us all. But given her unnatural history, it’s only, well, natural that she would still incorporate things that are familiar to her in her play from time to time.

So while supervising the cleaning of her home from atop her barrel, this was one of Jamie’s choices:


An upside-down-Jamie-on-a-barrel is always a happy Jamie.


If you’d like to learn more about how you can help end the exploitation and abuse of great apes, please check out our advocacy program, Eyes on Apes, and sign up for our Take Action Alerts. Just as Jamie once did, there are others who need your voice.